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The Outlook for U.S. Labor-Quality Growth
Over the past 15 years, labor-quality growth has been very strong?defying nearly all earlier projections?and has added around 0.5 percentage points to an otherwise modest U.S. productivity picture. Going forward, labor quality is likely to add considerably less and may even be a drag on productivity growth in the medium term. Using a variety of methods, we project that potential labor-quality growth in the longer run (7 to 10 years out) is likely to fall in the range of 0.1 to 0.25 percent per year. In the medium term, labor-quality growth could be lower or even negative, should employment rates of low-skilled workers make a cyclical rebound towards pre-recession levels. The main uncertainties in the longer run are whether the secular decline in employment of low-skilled workers continues and whether the Great Recession pickup in educational attainment represents the start of a new boom or is simply a transitory reaction to a poor economy.
AUTHORS: Bosler, Canyon; Hobijn, Bart; Fernald, John G.; Daly, Mary C.
Job-to-Job Transitions in an Evolving Labor Market
Job mobility in the United States has been slowing for almost two decades. The most prominent measure of mobility is direct transitions from one job to another. This measure has declined substantially among young workers ages 16 to 24 since the late 1990s, which helps explain the majority of the overall decline in job-to-job transition rates. However, for workers ages 25 and older, the labor market is essentially as dynamic today as it was 20 years ago.
AUTHORS: Bosler, Canyon; Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas
Mixed signals: labor markets and monetary policy
Since the Great Recession, standard ways of measuring the labor market have given mixed signals about the strength of the U.S. recovery. This has increased the uncertainty around how to interpret job market conditions, which has made calibrating monetary policy to achieve full employment more challenging. Ultimately, policymakers need to make judgments about how much these conflicting indicators reflect cyclical weakness in the job market versus structural factors that would be less easily remedied with monetary policy.
AUTHORS: Nechio, Fernanda; Daly, Mary C.; Bosler, Canyon
Policy stabilization and exchange rate stability
AUTHORS: Bosler, Canyon