Gross job flows between plants and industries
A remarkable feature of the current U.S. economic expansion has been its ability to shrug off the adverse effects of financial crises and economic slowdowns around the world for nearly two years. Recently, however, foreign-sector developments have triggered a sizable shift in the sectoral composition of U.S. employment. By early 1999, employment growth in the goods-producing sector was still humming along. Historically, substantial shifts in labor demand between sectors have been correlated with the business cycle. But recent developments are unusual and highlight our incomplete understanding of this correlation. This article provides new data and evidence on the connection between shifts in labor demand, or job reallocation, and the business cycle. The authors find that all meaningful measures of job reallocation between plants and between industries are significantly countercyclical. They also find econometric evidence that job reallocation may be an important determinant of the natural rate of unemployment, and that dispersion in relative prices may be an important determinant of reallocation
AUTHORS: Haltiwanger, John; Schuh, Scott
Job-to-Job Flows and the Consequences of Job Separations
A substantial empirical literature documents large and persistent average earnings losses following job displacement. Our paper extends the literature on displaced workers by providing a comprehensive picture of earnings and employment outcomes for all workers who separate. We show that for workers not recalled to their previous employer, earnings losses follow separations in general, as opposed to displacements in particular. The key predictor of earnings losses is not displacement but the length of the nonemployment spell following job separation. Moreover, displaced workers are no more likely to experience a substantial spell of nonemployment than are other non-recalled separators. Our results suggest that future research on the consequences of job loss should work to disentangle the strong association between nonemployment and earnings losses, as opposed to focusing specifically on displaced workers.
AUTHORS: Haltiwanger, John; McEntarfer, Erika; Fallick, Bruce C.; Staiger, Matthew
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 unemployment. To evaluate this theoretical mechanism, we relate industry-level unemployment flows from 1977 to 2005 to industry-level indicators for the intensity of idiosyncratic shocks. Unlike previous research, we focus on the lower frequency relationship of job destruction and business volatility to unemployment flows. We find strong evidence that declines in the intensity of idiosyncratic labor demand shocks drove large declines in the incidence of unemployment.
AUTHORS: Miranda, Javier; Davis, Steven J.; Faberman, R. Jason; Jarmin, Ron S.; Haltiwanger, John
Downsizing and productivity growth: myth or reality?
AUTHORS: Bartelsman, Eric J.; Haltiwanger, John; Baily, Martin N.
Labor productivity: structural change and cyclical dynamics
A longstanding puzzle of empirical economics is that average labor productivity declines during recessions and increases during booms. This paper provides a framework to assess the empirical importance of competing hypotheses for explaining the observed procyclicality. For each competing hypothesis we derive the implications for cyclical productivity conditional on expectations of future demand and supply conditions. The novelty of the paper is that we exploit the tremendous heterogeneity in long-run structural changes across individual plants to identify the short-run sources of procyclical productivity. Our findings favor an adjustment cost model which involves a productivity penalty for downsizing as the largest source of procyclical labor productivity.
AUTHORS: Haltiwanger, John; Bartelsman, Eric J.; Baily, Martin N.
Employer-to-employer flows in the United States: estimates using linked employer-employee data
We use administrative data linking workers and firms to study employer-to-employer flows. After discussing how to identify such flows in quarterly data, we investigate their basic empirical patterns. We find that the pace of employer-to-employer flows is high, representing about 4 percent of employment and 30 percent of separations each quarter. The pace of employer-to-employer flows is highly procyclical, and varies systematically across worker, job and employer characteristics. Our findings regarding job tenure and earnings dynamics suggest that for those workers moving directly to new jobs, the new jobs are generally better jobs; however, this pattern is highly procyclical. There are rich patterns in terms of origin and destination of industries. We find somewhat surprisingly that more than half of the workers making employer-to-employer transitions switch even broadly-defined industries (NAICS super-sectors).
AUTHORS: Bjelland, Melissa; Fallick, Bruce C.; Haltiwanger, John; McEntarfer, Erika
Declining Dynamism, Allocative Efficiency, and the Productivity Slowdown
A large literature documents declining measures of business dynamism including high-growth young firm activity and job reallocation. A distinct literature describes a slowdown in the pace of aggregate labor productivity growth. We relate these patterns by studying changes in productivity growth from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s using firm-level data. We find that diminished allocative efficiency gains can account for the productivity slowdown in a manner that interacts with the within-firm productivity growth distribution. The evidence suggests that the decline in dynamism is reason for concern and sheds light on debates about the causes of slowing productivity growth.
AUTHORS: Decker, Ryan; Jarmin, Ron S.; Haltiwanger, John; Miranda, Javier
Job-to-job flows and the consequences of job separations
This paper extends the literature on the earnings losses of displaced workers to provide a more comprehensive picture of the earnings and employment outcomes for workers who separate. First, we compare workers who separate from distressed employers (presumably displaced workers) and those who separate from stable or growing employers. Second, we distinguish between workers who do and do not experience a spell of joblessness. Third, we examine the full distribution of earnings outcomes from separations - not the impact on only the average worker. We find that earnings outcomes depend much less on whether a job separation is associated with a distressed employer than on whether the separator experienced a jobless spell after the separation. Moreover, we find that workers separating from distressed firms are faster to find jobs at new employers than are other separators.
AUTHORS: Fallick, Bruce C.; Haltiwanger, John; McEntarfer, Erika
Changing Business Dynamism and Productivity : Shocks vs. Responsiveness
The pace of job reallocation has declined in all U.S. sectors since 2000. In standard models, aggregate job reallocation depends on (a) the dispersion of idiosyncratic productivity shocks faced by businesses and (b) the marginal responsiveness of businesses to those shocks. Using several novel empirical facts from business microdata, we infer that the pervasive post-2000 decline in reallocation reflects weaker responsiveness in a manner consistent with rising adjustment frictions and not lower dispersion of shocks. The within-industry dispersion of TFP and output per worker has risen, while the marginal responsiveness of employment growth to business-level productivity has weakened. The responsiveness in the post-2000 period for young firms in the high-tech sector is only about half (in manufacturing) to two thirds (economy wide) of the peak in the 1990s. Counterfactuals show that weakening productivity responsiveness since 2000 accounts for a significant drag on a ggregate productivity.
AUTHORS: Decker, Ryan; Haltiwanger, John; Jarmin, Ron S.; Miranda, Javier
Early-Stage Business Formation : An Analysis of Applications for Employer Identification Numbers
This paper reports on the development and analysis of a newly constructed dataset on the early stages of business formation. The data are based on applications for Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) submitted in the United States, known as IRS Form SS-4 filings. The goal of the research is to develop high-frequency indicators of business formation at the national, state, and local levels. The analysis indicates that EIN applications provide forward-looking and very timely information on business formation. The signal of business formation provided by counts of applications is improved by using the characteristics of the applications to model the likelihood that applicants become employer businesses. The results also suggest that EIN applications are related to economic activity at the local level. For example, application activity is higher in counties that experienced higher employment growth since the end of the Great Recession, and application counts grew more rapidly in counties engaged in shale oil and gas extraction. Finally, the paper provides a description of new public use dataset, the ?Business Formation Statistics (BFS),? that contains new data series on business applications and formation. The initial release of the BFS shows that the number of business applications in the 3rd quarter of 2017 that have relatively high likelihood of becoming job creators is still far below pre-Great Recession levels.
AUTHORS: Bayard, Kimberly; Dinlersoz, Emin M.; Dunne, Timothy; Haltiwanger, John; Miranda, Javier; Stevens, John J.