Why is Involuntary Part-Time Work Elevated?
Despite substantial improvement in the unemployment rate and several other labor market indicators, the number of Americans involuntarily working part time (also called "part-time for economic reasons") remains unusually high nearly five years into the recovery. In this note, we focus on two questions: 1. What can Current Population Survey (CPS) data on the stocks and flows of involuntary part-time employment say about the underlying reasons for its persistently high rate? And 2. Based on this analysis, what can we expect for the evolution of involuntary part-time work going forward?
Tracking the Labor Market with "Big Data"
In our research, we explore the information content of the ADP microdata alone by producing an estimate of employment changes independent from the BLS payroll series as well as from other data sources.
Using Payroll Processor Microdata to Measure Aggregate Labor Market Activity
We show that high-frequency private payroll microdata can help forecast labor market conditions. Payroll employment is perhaps the most reliable real-time indicator of the business cycle and is therefore closely followed by policymakers, academia, and financial markets. Government statistical agencies have long served as the primary suppliers of information on the labor market and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. That said, sources of ?big data? are becoming increasingly available through collaborations with private businesses engaged in commercial activities that record ...
Improving the Accuracy of Economic Measurement with Multiple Data Sources: The Case of Payroll Employment Data
This paper combines information from two sources of U.S. private payroll employment to increase the accuracy of real-time measurement of the labor market. The sources are the Current Employment Statistics (CES) from BLS and microdata from the payroll processing firm ADP. We briefly describe the ADP-derived data series, compare it to the BLS data, and describe an exercise that benchmarks the data series to an employment census. The CES and the ADP employment data are each derived from roughly equal-sized samples. We argue that combining CES and ADP data series reduces the measurement error ...
The Recent Decline in Long-Term Unemployment
In this FEDS Note we take a deeper look at the sizeable decline in long-term unemployment seen over the first half of 2014.
Reconciling Unemployment Claims with Job Losses in the First Months of the COVID-19 Crisis
In the spring of 2020, many observers relied heavily on weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits (UI) to estimate contemporaneous reductions in US employment induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though UI claims provided a timely, high-frequency window into mounting layoffs, the cumulative volume of initial claims filed through the May reference week substantially exceeded realized reductions in payroll employment and likely contributed to the historically large discrepancy between consensus expectations of further April-to-May job losses and the strong job gains reflected in ...
Labor Force Participation: Recent Developments and Future Prospects
Since 2007, the labor force participation rate has fallen from about 66 percent to about 63 percent. The sources of this decline have been widely debated among academics and policymakers, with some arguing that the participation rate is depressed due to weak labor demand while others argue that the decline was inevitable due to structural forces such as the aging of the population. In this paper, we use a variety of approaches to assess reasons for the decline in participation. Although these approaches yield somewhat different estimates of the extent to which the recent decline in ...
A Cautionary Note on the Help Wanted Online Data
Measuring labor demand is one of the crucial tasks in analyzing the labor market. In the case of the United States, two main data sources geared towards this objective are the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), administered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Conference Board Help Wanted Online series (HWOL). In this note we exploit the timing of Craigslist price increases by metropolitan area (MSA) to find their effect on online vacancy posting.
Are Manufacturing Jobs Still Good Jobs? An Exploration of the Manufacturing Wage Premium
This paper explores the factors behind differences in wages between manufacturing and other sectors. Using data from the Current Population Survey, we find that the manufacturing wage premium--the additional pay a manufacturing worker earns relative to a comparable nonmanufacturing worker--disappeared in recent years and that the erosion of the premium has primarily affected workers employed in production occupations, who experienced a wage decline of 2.5 percentage points since the 1990s relative to other workers in production occupations. While the demographic composition and other worker ...
Tracking Labor Market Developments during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Preliminary Assessment
Many traditional official statistics are not suitable for measuring high-frequency developments that evolve over the course of weeks, not months. In this paper, we track the labor market effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with weekly payroll employment series based on microdata from ADP. These data are available essentially in real-time, and allow us to track both aggregate and industry effects. Cumulative losses in paid employment through April 4 are currently estimated at 18 million; just during the two weeks between March 14 and March 28 the U.S. economy lost about 13 million paid jobs. ...