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Author:Valletta, Robert G. 

Journal Article
The effects of industry employment shifts on U.S. wage structure, 1979-1995

The trend toward increasing U.S. wage inequality during the 1980s is well documented. I investigate the role of employment shifts from goods-producing to service-producing industries in contributing to increased inequality during the period 1979-1995. Earlier analyses revealed that average earnings are lower, and earnings inequality is higher, for service-producing workers than for goods-producing workers. For both reasons, and increasing share of service employment may increase earnings inequality. I analyses the effect of broad industry employment shifts by using a recently developed ...
Economic Review

Journal Article
Recent layoffs in a fragile labor market

Rising layoff rates during the spring of 2011 highlight renewed labor market weakness. Although job cuts among state and local governments have accelerated over the past few years, most of the recent increase occurred among private-sector employers. Following modest improvement in early summer, subsequent labor market performance has been uneven, indicating that labor market conditions remain fragile.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
What’s behind the increase in part-time work?

Part-time work spiked during the recent recession and has stayed stubbornly high, raising concerns that elevated part-time employment represents a ?new normal? in the labor market. However, recent movements and current levels of part-time work are largely within historical norms, despite increases for selected demographic groups, such as prime-age workers with a high-school degree or less. In that respect, the continued high incidence of part-time work likely reflects a slow labor market recovery and does not portend permanent changes in the proportion of part-time jobs.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
The minimum wage

FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Do Extended Unemployment Benefits Lengthen Unemployment Spells? Evidence from Recent Cycles in the U.S. Labor Market

In response to the Great Recession and sustained labor market downturn, the availability of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits was extended to new historical highs in the United States, up to 99 weeks as of late 2009 into 2012. We exploit variation in the timing and size of UI benefit extensions across states to estimate the overall impact of these extensions on unemployment duration, comparing the experience with the prior extension of benefits (up to 72 weeks) during the much milder downturn in the early 2000s. Using monthly matched individual data from the U.S. Current Population Survey ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2013-09

Journal Article
Is structural unemployment on the rise?

An increase in U.S. aggregate labor demand reflected in rising job vacancies has not been accompanied by a similar decline in the unemployment rate. Some analysts maintain that unemployed workers lack the skills to fill available jobs, a mismatch that contributes to an elevated level of structural unemployment. However, analysis of data on employment growth and jobless rates across industries, occupations, and states suggests only a limited increase in structural unemployment, indicating that cyclical factors account for most of the rise in the unemployment rate.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Trend Job Growth: Where's Normal?

With the U.S. labor market at or near maximum employment, assessing trend job growth has become increasingly important. This ?breakeven? rate, which is the pace of job growth needed to maintain a healthy labor market, depends primarily on growth in the labor force. Estimates that account for population aging and potential labor force participation trends suggest that trend growth ranges between about 50,000 and 110,000 jobs per month. Actual job growth has been well above this pace, implying that it can slow substantially in the future without undermining labor market health.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Why is unemployment duration so long?

During the recent recession, unemployment duration reached levels well above those of past downturns. Duration has continued to rise during the uneven economic recovery that began in mid-2009. Elevated duration reflects such factors as changes in survey measurement, the demographic characteristics of the unemployed, and the availability of extended unemployment benefits. But the key explanation is the severe and persistent weakness in aggregate demand for labor.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
UI Generosity and Job Acceptance: Effects of the 2020 CARES Act

To provide relief to the U.S. labor market following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act granted an extra $600 per week in UI benefit payments from late March through July 2020. This unprecedented increase in UI generosity raised concern that UI recipients would be largely unwilling to accept job offers, slowing the labor market recovery. Job acceptance decisions weigh the value of a job against remaining unemployed. A reservation level of benefit payments exists in this dynamic decision problem at which an individual is indifferent between accepting and refusing an offer. This ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2021-13

Journal Article
Employer health benefits and insurance expansions: Hawaii's experience

As policies are proposed to expand health insurance coverage in the United States, it is useful to focus on the experience of Hawaii, where employers are required to offer such insurance to their full-time employees. Our findings suggest that Hawaii?s law has substantially increased health insurance coverage in the state, although the impact has been partially offset by employers' increased reliance on the exempt class of employees who work fewer than 20 hours per week.
FRBSF Economic Letter

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