Underemployment Following the Great Recession and the COVID-19 Recession
Abstract: The underemployment rate, the percent of employed people who are working part-time but prefer to be working full-time, moves closely with the unemployment rate, rising during recessions and falling during expansions. Following the Great Recession, the underemployment rate had stayed persistently elevated when compared to the unemployment rate, that is, until the COVID-19 recession. Since then, it has been consistent with its pre-2008 levels. We find that changes in relative industry size account for essentially none of the underemployment rate increase after the Great Recession nor the underemployment rate decrease after the COVID-19 recession. Based on this finding, we do not expect the underemployment rate to revert to its pre-COVID-19 levels if industry composition reverts to its pre-COVID-19 structure.
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Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Part of Series: Economic Commentary
Publication Date: 2022-02-03