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Downskilling: changes in employer skill requirements over the business cycle
Using a novel database of 82.5 million online job postings, we show that employer skill requirements fell as the labor market improved from 2010 to 2014. We find that a 1 percentage point reduction in the local unemployment rate is associated with a roughly 0.27 percentage point reduction in the fraction of jobs requiring at least a bachelor?s degree and a roughly 0.23 percentage point reduction in the fraction requiring five or more years of experience. This pattern is established using multiple measures of labor availability, is bolstered by similar trends along heretofore unmeasured ...
Upskilling: do employers demand greater skill when skilled workers are plentiful?
The Great Recession and subsequent recovery have been particularly painful for low-skilled workers. From 2007 to 2012, the unemployment rate rose by 6.4 percentage points for noncollege workers while it rose by only 2.3 percentage points for the college educated. This differential impact was evident within occupations as well. One explanation for the differential impact may be the ability of highly skilled workers to take middle- and low-skilled jobs. Indeed, over this period the share of workers with a college degree in traditionally middle-skill occupations increased rapidly. Such growth in ...
How Did the MSLP Borrowers Fare Before and During COVID-19?
This policy brief uses Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) data to assess whether the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) borrowers were in worse financial health than their peers before COVID-19 hit the economy hard in March 2020 or suffered worse deterioration afterward. The findings can help us better understand why these firms sought to obtain MSLP loans. We find that MSLP borrowers tend to be larger than their peer firms (that is, firms in the same industry and state). Within the same size group, MSLP borrowers are on average younger than their peers. Borrowers tended to have a slightly higher ...