Mismatch unemployment

Abstract: We develop a framework where mismatch between vacancies and job seekers across sectors translates into higher unemployment by lowering the aggregate job-finding rate. We use this framework to measure the contribution of mismatch to the recent rise in U.S. unemployment by exploiting two sources of cross-sectional data on vacancies: JOLTS and HWOL (a new database covering the universe of online U.S. job advertisements). Mismatch across industries and occupations explains at most one-third of the total observed increase in the unemployment rate. Geographical mismatch plays no apparent role. Occupational mismatch has become especially more severe for college graduates, and in the West of the United States.

Keywords: unemployment; vacancies; mismatch;

JEL Classification: E24; J23; J63; J64;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Staff Reports

Publication Date: 2012

Number: 566

Note: For a published version of this report, see Ayşegül Şahin, Joseph Song, Giorgio Topa, and Giovanni L. Violante, "Mismatch Unemployment," American Economic Review 104, no. 11 (November 2014): 3529-64.