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Jel Classification:J21 

Working Paper
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. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-025

Working Paper
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 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-040

Working Paper
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.
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2014-8

Working Paper
Unemployment Paths in a Pandemic Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the U.S. economy and labor market. We assess the initial spike in unemployment due to the virus response and possible paths for the official unemployment rate through 2021. Substantial uncertainty surrounds the path for measured unemployment, depending on the path of the virus and containment measures and their impact on reported job search activity. We assess potential unemployment paths based on historical patterns of monthly flows in and out of unemployment, adjusted for unique features of the virus economy. The possible paths vary widely, but absent ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-18

Working Paper
Labor Force Participation: Recent Developments and Future Prospects

Since 2007, the labor force participation rate has fallen from about 66 percent to about 63 percent. The sources of this decline have been widely debated among academics and policymakers, with some arguing that the participation rate is depressed due to weak labor demand while others argue that the decline was inevitable due to structural forces such as the aging of the population. In this paper, we use a variety of approaches to assess reasons for the decline in participation. Although these approaches yield somewhat different estimates of the extent to which the recent decline in ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1410

Journal Article
Women Take a Bigger Hit in the First Wave of Job Losses due to COVID-19

The temporary shutdown orders and social distancing measures taken to fight the COVID-19 outbreak have caused substantial job losses in the United States. Women, especially those without a college degree, have taken a bigger hit in the first wave of job losses. This imbalance could lead to prolonged damage to women’s employment and labor market attachment if job losses deepen and persist in the coming months.
Economic Bulletin , Issue April 16, 2020 , Pages 5

Working Paper
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 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-15

Journal Article
Stuck in Part-Time Employment

Although the share of workers employed part time for economic reasons has declined, it is unlikely to return to its pre-recession level in the near future.
Macro Bulletin

Discussion Paper
Opportunity Occupations and the Future of Work

From 19th-century workers smashing textile factory machines to John Maynard Keynes's musing on technological unemployment, worries and passions about machines replacing workers are hundreds of years old. More recently, robots and computers (through artificial intelligence) are replacing a growing number of human skills, and this has become an important topic of conversation in public policy. It is also increasingly on the minds of workers and students making decisions about their investments in skills and career preparation.
Workforce Currents , Paper 2020-01

Discussion Paper
Hiring Difficulties across Industries and Location

In the current tight labor market with low levels of unemployment, it is not surprising that a large share of firms experience difficulty hiring candidates for open positions. However, much is unclear about the extent of these difficulties, their underlying reasons, and how firms respond. Using data from the Federal Reserve Banks' national 2017 Small Business Credit Survey, a recent paper examines the nature of firms' hiring difficulties and how they vary by industry and geographic location. The paper also explores how the reasons behind hiring difficulties relate to firms' responses. The ...
Workforce Currents , Paper 2018-04

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