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Explaining the recent divergence in payroll and household employment growth
Each month, the government releases two estimates of U.S. employment growth - one based on a survey of firms, the other on a survey of households. Since 1994, these measures have diverged sharply. Evidence suggests that the household survey's estimate has risen more slowly because it undercounts working-age adults who have found employment during the current economic expansion.
Markov switching in disaggregate unemployment rates
We develop a dynamic factor model with Markov switching to examine secular and business cycle fluctuations in U.S. unemployment rates. We extract the common dynamics among unemployment rates disaggregated for seven age groups. The framework allows analysis of the contribution of demographic factors to secular changes in unemployment rates. In addition, it allows examination of the separate contribution of changes due to asymmetric business cycle fluctuations. We find strong evidence in favor of the common factor and of the switching between high and low unemployment rate regimes. We also find ...
Is there still an added-worker effect?
Using matched March Current Population Surveys, we examine labor market transitions of husbands and wives. We find that the ?added-worker effect??the greater propensity of nonparticipating wives to enter the labor force when their husbands exit employment?is still important among a subset of couples, but that the overall value of marriage as a risk-sharing arrangement has diminished because of the greater positive co-movement of employment within couples. While positive assortative matching on education did increase over time, this shift in the composition of couple types alone cannot account ...
Employment of women and demand-side forces
Using the 1964?95 March Current Population Surveys and the 1940?90 Census, this paper examines the relationship between female employment growth and changes in labor demand. Specifically, the authors examine whether industrial change and changes in labor demand can account for both the acceleration and deceleration of female employment growth across the decades as well as the pattern of biased growth in favor of more skilled women. They find that labor demand proxies are successful in accounting for the pattern of biased growth but are less successful in accounting for the overall ...
Unequal incomes, unequal outcomes? Economic inequality and measures of well-being: summary of observations and recommendations
This is a summary of the proceedings of the conference "Unequal incomes, unequal outcomes? Economic inequality and measures of well-being." The conference was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on May 7, 1999. The conference was organized to focus on the evolution of more direct measures of the material well-being of Americans. Of particular concern was the impact of income inequality on trends in health, housing, and crime victimization. Conference participants also examined some of the changes in policymakers' responses to these trends, especially in the areas of education ...
Inequality in labor market outcomes: contrasting the 1980s and earlier decades
The increase in wage inequality during the 1980s was exceptional, but underlying demand and supply conditions showed relatively little contrast compared to previous decades. One possible explanation is that the increased demand for skills during the 1980s was unusually concentrated among the most skilled workers rather than being spread throughout the skill distribution.