Measuring Labor Utilization: The Non-Employment Index
The elevated number of non-employed people who are out of the labor force has raised some concerns about how well the headline unemployment rate measures available labor. An alternative measure of labor utilization, the Non-Employment Index, accounts for all non-employed individuals, distinguishing between groups like short-term versus long-term unemployed, discouraged workers, retirees, and disabled individuals, and adjusting for how likely each is to transition to employment. Current data show the index is very close to its value in 2005?06, the period near the peak of the previous economic ...
How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices
From Bitcoin?s inception in 2009 through mid-2017, its price remained under $4,000. In the second half of 2017, it climbed dramatically to nearly $20,000, but descended rapidly starting in mid-December. The peak price coincided with the introduction of bitcoin futures trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence. Rather, it is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset.
How Much Consumption Responds to Government Stimulus
What is the effect of government spending on private consumption? Estimates show that stimulus distributed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act had a large positive effect. Estimates from regional data suggest every $100 of stimulus generated an additional $18 within regions. Furthermore, by accounting for economic connections that spread the impact beyond regional borders, a new study finds that every $100 triggered an increase of $40 in overall private consumption in the economy.
The Labor Force Participation Rate Trend and Its Projections
A labor force participation rate that is at or above its long-run trend is consistent with a labor market at or above full employment. In 2018, the estimated rate is at its trend of 62.8%, suggesting that the labor market is at full employment. Studying the population?s demographic makeup and labor trends for different groups sheds some light on what is driving the aggregate participation trend and implications for the future. Projections based on these trends estimate that labor participation will decline about 2.5 percentage points over the next decade.
Involuntary Part-Time Work a Decade after the Recession
Involuntary part-time employment reached unusually high levels during the last recession and declined only slowly afterward. The speed of the decline was limited because of a combination of two factors: the number of people working part-time due to slack business conditions was declining, and the number of those who could find only part-time work continued to increase until 2013. Involuntary part-time employment recently returned to its pre-recession level but remains slightly elevated relative to historically low unemployment, likely due to structural factors.
How Much Has Job Matching Efficiency Declined?
During the recession and recovery, hiring has been slower than might be expected considering the large numbers of vacant jobs and unemployed individuals. This raises some concern about structural changes in the process of matching job seekers with employers. However, the standard measures account for only the unemployed and not those who are out of the labor force. Including other non-employed groups in the measured pool of job seekers while adjusting for different job finding rates among these groups shows that the decline in matching efficiency is similar to earlier declines.
Who from Out of the Labor Force Is Most Likely to Find a Job?
The best predictor of someone from outside the labor force finding a job is how recently the person was employed, rather than their self-reported desire to work as is conventionally thought. Between 1999 and 2019, the composition of the out of the labor force group shifted towards people out of work for longer. Consequently, the pool has become less employable. This indicates that, even though the out of the labor force pool is larger, it does not signify additional labor market slack beyond that accounted for by the standard unemployment rate.
Why Is Unemployment Currently So Low?
Unemployment is at a 50-year low. The low rate is not from an unusually high job-finding rate out of unemployment but, rather, an unusually low rate at which people enter unemployment. The low entry rate reflects a long-run downward trend likely due to population aging, better job matches, and other structural factors. These developments lowered the long-run unemployment rate trend. At the end of 2019, the unemployment rate was below the trend but no more so than in previous business cycle peaks, indicating that the labor market is no tighter.
Measuring Heterogeneity in Job Finding Rates among the Non-Employed Using Labor Force Status Histories
We introduce a novel approach to studying heterogeneity in job finding rates by classifying the non-employed, the unemployed and those out of the labor force (OLF), according to their labor force status (LFS) histories using four-month panels in the CPS. Respondents? LFS histories outperform current-month responses to survey questions about duration and reason for unemployment, desire to work, or reasons for not searching in predicting future employment. We find that the best predictor of future employment for the non-employed is their duration since last employment. For those OLF, the ...
Regional Consumption Responses and the Aggregate Fiscal Multiplier
We use regional variation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009-2012) to analyze the effect of government spending on consumer spending. Our consumption data come from household-level retail purchases in Nielsen and auto purchases from Equifax credit balances. We estimate that a $1 increase in county-level government spending increases consumer spending by $0.18. We translate the regional consumption responses to an aggregate fiscal multiplier using a multi-region, New Keynesian model with heterogeneous agents and incomplete markets. Our model successfully generates the ...