Journal Article

Using Advance Layoff Notices as a Labor Market Indicator

Abstract: We use advance layoff notices filed under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act as an indicator of current and imminent labor market conditions. We have constructed a database of establishment-level notices starting in 1990 by scraping state government websites, contacting state officials, and retrieving historical data. We find evidence that these notices, aggregated to the national level, lead other prominent labor market indicators, such as initial unemployment insurance claims, the change in the unemployment rate, and changes in private employment. The lead relationship seems strongest at one month with economically meaningful magnitudes. Most recently, WARN data suggest a slight increase in labor market slack.

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Part of Series: Economic Commentary

Publication Date: 2019-12-17

Volume: 2019

Issue: 21