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The U.S. Job Ladder in the New Millennium


  • Nellie Zhao

    (Cornell University)

  • Henry Hyatt

    (US Census Bureau)

  • Isabel Cairo

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)


The U.S. labor market after the year 2000 has many notable differences from previous decades. First, the rate of growth in high-paying jobs seen in the 1980s and 1990s has not been realized, with job growth occurring disproportionately in low-paying jobs. Second, the rate at which workers switch employers fell after the year 2000, and only experienced a modest increase before plummeting again in the labor market downturn associated with the ``Great Recession'' of 2007-2009. Third, the employment-to-population ratio has declined from its peak in the year 2000 and, since the most recent recession, stayed at levels not see in the last thirty years. In this paper, after descriptive analysis of these patterns in the U.S. labor market, we explore how changes in labor demand may account for these declines in a model of the labor market with on-the-job search.

Suggested Citation

  • Nellie Zhao & Henry Hyatt & Isabel Cairo, 2015. "The U.S. Job Ladder in the New Millennium," 2015 Meeting Papers 893, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed015:893

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    Cited by:

    1. Leland Crane & Henry Hyatt & Seth Murray, 2018. "Cyclical Labor Market Sorting," 2018 Meeting Papers 939, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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