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Job Reallocation and Unemployment in Equilibrium
Job reallocation in the U.S.--the sum of job creation and job destruction across employers--has been declining over several decades. This piece looks at the relationship between job reallocation and the long-run rate of unemployment ("LRU") both theoretically and empirically. In this piece I show how declines in job reallocation can coincide with higher or lower unemployment– the sign and magnitude of the relationship is ambiguous.
Reconciling Unemployment Claims with Job Losses in the First Months of the COVID-19 Crisis
In the spring of 2020, many observers relied heavily on weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits (UI) to estimate contemporaneous reductions in US employment induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though UI claims provided a timely, high-frequency window into mounting layoffs, the cumulative volume of initial claims filed through the May reference week substantially exceeded realized reductions in payroll employment and likely contributed to the historically large discrepancy between consensus expectations of further April-to-May job losses and the strong job gains reflected in ...
The Timing of Mass Layoff Episodes : Evidence from U.S. Microdata
This paper studies employment decisions at U.S. companies over the 2007-2012 period, during and after the Great Recession. To this end, I build a panel dataset that matches publicly-listed companies' financial reports to their announced layoff episodes. Using limited dependent variable regressions, I find that layoffs respond to accumulated changes in a company's financial conditions. While recent financial changes have the largest impacts on layoff propensities, financial changes over at least four previous quarters appear to have additional marginal effects.
Labor Market Effects of the Oxycodone-Heroin Epidemic
We estimate the causal effects of heroin use on labor market outcomes by proxying for heroin use with prior exposure to oxycodone, the largest of the prescription opioids with a well-documented history of abuse. After a nationwide tightening in the supply of oxycodone in 2010, states with greater prior exposure to oxycodone experienced much larger increases in heroin use and mortality. We find increases in heroin use led to declines in employment and labor force participation rates, particularly for white, young, and less educated groups, consistent with the profile of oxycodone misusers. ...
Employment Dynamics in a Signaling Model with Workers' Incentives
Many firms adjust employment in a "lumpy" manner -- infrequently and in large bursts. In this paper, I show that lumpy adjustments can arise from concerns about the incentives of remaining workers. Specifically, I develop a model in which a firm's productivity depends on its workers' effort and workers' income prospects depend on the firm's profitability. I use this model to analyze the consequences of demand shocks that are observed by the firm but not by its workers, who can only try to infer the firm's profitability from its employment decisions. I show that the resulting signaling model ...
Labor Market Outcomes in Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Areas : Signs of Growing Disparities
The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen steadily since 2010, indicating broad-based improvement in the labor market. However, disaggregated measures reveal divergences between regions and types of workers. This note documents two geographic disparities in the U.S. labor market.
Worker Churn at Establishments over the Business Cycle
This note decomposes worker churn (which occurs when business establishments have simultaneous hiring and separations) into two components using monthly Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey responses from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On average, nearly a third of worker churn was "employer-initiated" through layoffs and two thirds was "quit initiated" over the 2001 to 2016 period.