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The unemployment gender gap during the 2007 recession
Women fared decidedly better than men during the most recent recession. By August 2009, the unemployment rate for men had hit 11.0 percent, while that for women held at 8.3 percent. This 2.7 percentage point unemployment gender gap--the largest in the postwar era--appears to reflect two factors: first, men were much more heavily represented in the industries that suffered the most during the downturn. Second, there was a much sharper increase in the percentage of men who--prompted, perhaps, by a decline in household liquidity--rejoined the labor force but failed to find a job.
Labor Force Exits Are Complicating Unemployment Rate Forecasts
What will the unemployment rate be in 2013? Even if you were certain how much the U.S. economy (gross domestic product, or GDP) would grow over the next year or two, it would still be difficult to forecast the unemployment rate over that period. The link between GDP growth and unemployment is complex in part because it depends on how many people decide to work or look for work?that is, the labor force participation rate. In this post, we discuss the recent steep decline in the labor force participation rate and explain how uncertainty regarding the future path of that variable contributes to ...
Subsidizing job creation in the Great Recession
We analyze the effects of various labor market policies on job creation, job destruction, and employment. The framework of Mortensen and Pissarides (2003) is used to model the dynamic interaction between firms and workers and to simulate their responses to alternative policies. The equilibrium model is calibrated to capture labor market conditions at the end of 2009, including the unemployment, inflow, and outflow rates by workers of different educational attainment. We consider the equilibrium effects of a hiring subsidy, a payroll tax reduction, and an employment subsidy. While calibrating ...
The measurement and behavior of uncertainty: evidence from the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters
We use matched point and density forecasts of output growth and inflation from the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters to derive measures of forecast uncertainty, forecast dispersion, and forecast accuracy. We construct uncertainty measures from aggregate density functions as well as from individual histograms. The uncertainty measures display countercyclical behavior, and there is evidence of increased uncertainty for output growth and inflation since 2007. The results also indicate that uncertainty displays a very weak relationship with forecast dispersion, corroborating the findings of ...
We develop a framework where mismatch between vacancies and job seekers across sectors translates into higher unemployment by lowering the aggregate job-finding rate. We use this framework to measure the contribution of mismatch to the recent rise in U.S. unemployment by exploiting two sources of cross-sectional data on vacancies: JOLTS and HWOL (a new database covering the universe of online U.S. job advertisements). Mismatch across industries and occupations explains at most one-third of the total observed increase in the unemployment rate. Geographical mismatch plays no apparent role. ...
Is the worst over? Economic indexes and the course of the recession in New York and New Jersey
The New York-New Jersey region entered a pronounced downturn in 2008, but the pace of decline eased considerably in spring 2009 and then leveled off in July, according to three key Federal Reserve Bank of New York economic indexes. These developments, in conjunction with a growing consensus that the national economy is headed for recovery, suggest that the worst may be over for the region's economy. However, a downsizing of the area's critical finance sector could pose a major risk to the economic outlook going forward--particularly for New York City.