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The Long and Short of It: The Impact of Unemployment Duration on Compensation Growth
How tight is the labor market? The unemployment rate is down substantially from its October 2009 peak, but two-thirds of the decline is due to people dropping out of the labor force. In addition, an unusually large share of the unemployed has been out of work for twenty-seven weeks or more?the long-duration unemployed. These statistics suggest that there remains a great deal of slack in U.S. labor markets, which should be putting downward pressure on labor compensation. Instead, compensation growth has moved modestly higher since 2009. A potential explanation is that the long-duration ...
Compensation Growth and Slack in the Current Economic Environment
Following a significant slowing during the recent recession, growth in various labor compensation measures has stabilized during the past two to three years. This stabilization is puzzling because it’s widely held that a significant amount of slack remains in the economy. Accordingly, this large amount of slack should result in a further slowing in compensation (wage) growth. In this post, we show that there’s a very mild trade-off between compensation growth and resource slack, even though slack is sizable. Consequently, the observation that there’s slow but steady growth in labor ...