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Net job creation in the U.S. economy: lessons from monthly data, 1950-2011


  • Abo-Zaid, Salem


In this paper, I study the monthly net job creation (NJC) at the aggregate level in the U.S. over the period 1950-2011. The paper has few important findings. First, NJC did not show a significant trend over the last 6 decades, which resulted in a fall in the NJC rate. Second, NJC is very volatile and it may change course even in the span of one month. Third, there is no clear pattern about the co-movement between NJC and the change in the unemployment rate in the U.S. Fourth, the average of total NJC and private NJC since late 2010 are significantly higher than their respective historical averages and the volatility in NJC since the end of the Great Recession is not unusual by historical standards. Fifth, the size of NJC in the first decade of the 21st century has been the lowest along the entire sample. Finally, the most frequent drop in the unemployment rate is by 0.1 percent, and drops of more than 0.2 percent should not be highly expected.

Suggested Citation

  • Abo-Zaid, Salem, 2012. "Net job creation in the U.S. economy: lessons from monthly data, 1950-2011," MPRA Paper 39084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39084

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Haltiwanger, John C. & Scarpetta, Stefano & Schweiger, Helena, 2006. "Assessing Job Flows across Countries: The Role of Industry, Firm Size and Regulations," IZA Discussion Papers 2450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    3. Emek Basker, 2005. "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 174-183, February.
    4. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2012. "The Contribution of Large and Small Employers to Job Creation in Times of High and Low Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2509-2539, October.
    5. Alexander Hijzen & Richard Upward & Peter W. Wright, 2010. "Job Creation, Job Destruction and the Role of Small Firms: Firm-Level Evidence for the UK," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(5), pages 621-647, October.
    6. John C. Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," NBER Working Papers 16300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ibsen, Rikke & WestergÄrd-Nielsen, Niels C., 2011. "Job Creation by Firms in Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 5458, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
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    More about this item


    U.S. Net Job Creation; U.S. Unemployment Rate; U.S. Labor Force; The Great Recession;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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