Using Payroll Processor Microdata to Measure Aggregate Labor Market Activity
We show that high-frequency private payroll microdata can help forecast labor market conditions. Payroll employment is perhaps the most reliable real-time indicator of the business cycle and is therefore closely followed by policymakers, academia, and financial markets. Government statistical agencies have long served as the primary suppliers of information on the labor market and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. That said, sources of ?big data? are becoming increasingly available through collaborations with private businesses engaged in commercial activities that record ...
Understanding Declining Fluidity in the U.S. Labor Market
We document a clear downward trend in labor market fluidity that is common across a variety of measures of worker and job turnover. This trend dates to at least the early 1980s if not somewhat earlier. Next we pull together evidence on a variety of hypotheses that might explain this downward trend. It is only partly related to population demographics and is not due to the secular shift in industrial composition. Moreover, the decline in labor market fluidity seems unlikely to have been caused by an improvement in worker-firm matching, the formalization of hiring practices, or an increase in ...
Local Ties in Spatial Equilibrium
If someone lives in an economically depressed place, they were probably born there. The presence of people with local ties - a preference to live in their birthplace - leads to smaller migration responses. Smaller migration responses to wage declines lead to lower real incomes and make real incomes more sensitive to subsequent demand shocks, a form of hysteresis. Local ties can persist for generations. Place-based policies, like tax subsidies, targeting depressed places cause smaller distortions since few people want to move to depressed places. Place-based policies targeting productive ...
Understanding the New Normal : The Role of Demographics
Since the onset of the Great Recession, the U.S. economy has experienced low real GDP growth and low real interest rates, including for long maturities. We show that these developments were largely predictable by calibrating an overlapping-generation model with a rich demographic structure to observed and projected changes in U.S. population, family composition, life expectancy, and labor market activity. The model accounts for a 1?percentage point decline in both real GDP growth and the equilibrium real interest rate since 1980?essentially all of the permanent declines in those variables ...
Returning to the Nest: Debt and Parental Co-residence Among Young Adults
This paper examines the relationship between a young adults' debt burden and the decision to co-reside with a parent. Using a quarterly panel of young adults' credit histories, and controlling for age, county, and quarter fixed effects, and local demographic characteristics, unemployment rates, and house prices, we estimate the relationship between current period debt and subsequent decisions to co-reside with a parent. Our results indicate that indebtedness--as measured by average loan balances, declining credit scores and delinquency on accounts--increases flows into parental co-residence. ...
Tracking Labor Market Developments during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Preliminary Assessment
Many traditional official statistics are not suitable for measuring high-frequency developments that evolve over the course of weeks, not months. In this paper, we track the labor market effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with weekly payroll employment series based on microdata from ADP. These data are available essentially in real-time, and allow us to track both aggregate and industry effects. Cumulative losses in paid employment through April 4 are currently estimated at 18 million; just during the two weeks between March 14 and March 28 the U.S. economy lost about 13 million paid jobs. ...
Adjusted Employment-to-Population Ratio as an Indicator of Labor Market Strength
As a measure of labor market strength, the raw employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) confounds employment outcomes with labor supply behavior. Movement in the EPOP depends on the relative movements of the employment rate (one minus the unemployment rate) and the labor force participation rate. This paper proposes an adjustment to the calculation of the EPOP using individual microdata to account for both individual characteristics and the probability of labor force participation, which can used to assess the strength of the labor market.
Household formation over time: evidence from two cohorts of young adults
Residential investment accounts for an important component of U.S. gross domestic product, and traditionally plays a strong role in business cycle expansions. U.S. residential investment has improved slowly during the recovery from the Great Recession, despite a relatively strong national rebound in house prices and record low interest rates. An important determinant of residential investment is the household formation rate, which is largely driven by young adults moving out of their parents? homes after completing high school or college. New household formation can be offset when existing ...
Labor force participation in New England vs. the United States, 2007–2015: why was the regional decline more moderate?
This paper identifies the main forces that contributed to the decline in labor force participation in New England between 2007 and 2015, as well as the forces that moderated the region?s decline relative to that of the nation. This exercise contributes to an assessment of the outlook for participation in New England moving forward. Similar to previous findings pertaining to the United States as a whole, the single largest factor in the recent decline in labor force participation in New England was the shifting age composition of the region?s population. In particular, the share of New England ...
Generational War on Inflation: Optimal Inflation Rates for the Young and the Old
How does a grayer society affect the political decision-making regarding inflation rates? Is deflation preferred as a society ages? In order to answer these questions, we compute the optimal inflation rates for the young and the old respectively, and explore how they change with demographic factors, by using a New Keynesian model with overlapping generations. According to our simulation results, there indeed exists a tension between the young and the old on the optimal inflation rates, with the optimal inflation rates differing between generations. The rates can be significantly different ...