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COVID-19 Caused 3 New Hires for Every 10 Layoffs
Reports about the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to slow its spread make for grim reading. One especially grim statistic is the number of layoffs. Since early March, just over 28 million persons have filed new claims for unemployment insurance benefits (roughly 30 million if you seasonally adjust).
Are Firms Using Remote Work to Recruit and Retain Workers?
A Richmond Fed survey of employers in the Fifth District reveals that many firms — especially larger ones — are offering hybrid and remote work options to recruit and retain employees. Those same firms have expanded the geographic reach of their recruiting efforts. Expectations about the future direction of remote work differ a lot across sectors and employers.
Business volatility, job destruction and unemployment
Unemployment inflows fell from 4 percent of employment per month in the early 1980s to 2 percent or less by the mid 1990s and thereafter. U.S. data also show a secular decline in firm-level employment volatility and the job destruction rate. We interpret this decline as a decrease in the intensity of idiosyncratic labor demand shocks, a key parameter in search and matching models of frictional unemployment. According to these models, a lower intensity of idiosyncratic demand shocks produces less job destruction, fewer workers flowing through the unemployment pool and less frictional ...
U.S. Firms Foresee Intensifying Coronavirus Impact
In late March—even before many states had issued shelter-in-place, stay-at-home, or shutdown orders—we noted that firms were bracing for a huge negative impact on sales revenues from developments surrounding the coronavirus. Results from our March Survey of Business Uncertainty (SBU)—a national survey of firms of varying sizes and industries—revealed that disruptions stemming from COVID-19 had led to sharp declines in expectations for year-ahead sales growth.
Pandemic-Era Uncertainty on Main Street and Wall Street
We draw on the monthly Survey of Business Uncertainty (SBU) to make three observations about pandemic-era uncertainty in the U.S. economy. First, equity market traders and executives of nonfinancial firms share similar assessments about uncertainty at one-year lookahead horizons. That is, the one-year VIX has moved similarly to our survey-based measure of (average) firm-level subjective uncertainty at one-year forecast horizons. Second, looking within the distribution of beliefs in the SBU reveals that firm-level expectations shifted towards upside risk in the latter part of 2020. In this ...
The timing of intergenerational transfers, tax policy, and aggregate savings
An analysis of the interest rate and savings effects of fiscal policy in an overlapping generations framework, discussing the circumstances under which capital's steady-state marginal product varies.
Firms Expect Working from Home to Triple
The coronavirus and efforts to mitigate its impact are having a transformative impact on many aspects of economic life, intensifying trends like shopping online rather than visiting brick-and-mortar stores and increasing the incidence of working from home. Indeed, many tech giants have already made working from home a permanent option for employees.
The Shift to Remote Work Lessens Wage-Growth Pressures
The recent shift to remote work raised the amenity value of employment. As compensation adjusts to share the amenity-value gains with employers, wage-growth pressures moderate. We find empirical support for this mechanism in the wage-setting behavior of US employers, and we develop novel survey data to quantify its force. Our data imply a cumulative wage-growth moderation of 2.0 percentage points over two years. This moderation offsets more than half the real-wage catchup effect that Blanchard (2022) highlights in his analysis of near-term inflation pressures. The amenity-values gains ...
Borrowing costs and the demand for equity over the life cycle
We construct a life-cycle model that delivers realistic behavior for both equity holdings and borrowings. The key model ingredient is a wedge between the cost of borrowing and the risk-free investment return. Borrowing can either raise or lower equity demand, depending on the cost of borrowing. A borrowing rate equal to the expected return on equity ? which we show roughly matches the data ? minimizes the demand for equity. Alternative models with no borrowing or limited borrowing at the risk-free rate cannot simultaneously fit empirical evidence on borrowing and equity holdings.
Altruism, borrowing constraints, and social security
An examination of how intergenerational altruism and borrowing constraints shape the interest rate, savings, and welfare response to funded and unfunded Social Security programs.