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Author:Hodges, Jaclyn 

Journal Article
Job matching: evidence from the Beveridge curve
This Economic Letter examines the evidence on long-term shifts in the speed and efficiency of job matching in U.S. labor markets by using the so-called Beveridge curve. The Beveridge curve is an empirical measure of the relationship between the job vacancy rate and the unemployment rate. Changes in the job-matching process suggested by movements in the Beveridge curve, and their implications for U.S. labor market performance, have not been extensively analyzed, due in part to the absence of consistent data on job vacancies over a long time period. In this Economic Letter, we utilize new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to construct a long-term vacancy series and corresponding estimates of the Beveridge curve. We find that declining dispersion of economic growth across geographic regions helps explain improvements in the job-matching process since the mid-1980s and reinforces existing depictions of improved performance of the U.S. aggregate labor market in the 1990s (for example, Katz and Krueger 1999).
AUTHORS: Valletta, Robert G.; Hodges, Jaclyn
DATE: 2006

Journal Article
Age and education effects on the unemployment rate
The national unemployment rate fell slowly during the first half of 2005, reaching 5.0% in June. While this is above the lows reached in 1999-2000, it is noticeably below the rates that largely prevailed during the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. This Economic Letter focuses on two demographic factors that help explain the reduction in the unemployment rate over the past few decades. The first is the composition of the population by age group, and, in particular, the contribution of the aging of the "baby boom" generation to the long-term decline in the unemployment rate. The second is rising educational attainment among the population. In our analysis, we account for joint influences of age and education. Our results suggest that both factors made a significant contribution to the downward trend in the unemployment rate over the past few decades, although their influence was not large enough to fully account for the very low rates achieved near the most recent business cycle peak (years 1999-2000).
AUTHORS: Valletta, Robert G.; Hodges, Jaclyn
DATE: 2005



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