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Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Economic Commentary
Unemployment after the recession: a new natural rate?
Murat Tasci
Saeed Zaman
Abstract

The past recession has hit the labor market especially hard, and economists are wondering whether some fundamentals of the market have changed because of that blow. Many are suggesting that the natural rate of long-term unemployment—the level of unemployment an economy can’t go below—has shifted permanently higher. We use a new measure that is based on the rates at which workers are finding and losing jobs and which provides a more accurate assessment of the natural rate. We find that the natural rate of unemployment has indeed shifted higher—but much less so than has been suggested. Surprising trends in both the job-finding and job-separation rates explain much about the current state of the unemployment rate.


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Murat Tasci & Saeed Zaman, "Unemployment after the recession: a new natural rate?" , Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, issue Sep, 2010.
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Keywords: Unemployment ; Recessions ; Economic conditions - United States
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