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Keywords:demographic trends 

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

Population Aging and the US Labor Force Participation Rate

The labor force participation rate dropped sharply at the beginning of the pandemic, and as of November 2021 it had recovered only about half of its lost ground. The failure of the participation rate to get closer to its level immediately before the pandemic has puzzled many analysts. In this note, we show that the current participation rate is much less puzzling if one compares it with participation in November 2017 (the last time the unemployment rate was at its current level of 4.2 percent), rather than February 2020 (immediately before the pandemic). Since November 2017, population aging ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Discussion Paper
Have Some Rural Areas Turned the Tide on Population Decline?

According to the most recent county population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, almost half of the Fifth District counties in rural areas or small towns (those with a Rural-Urban Continuum Code (RUCC) of 3-9 and henceforth referred to as "rural") experienced population growth between 2020 and 2023. (See here for more on our use of these definitions for urban and rural.) That figure may seem low considering that nearly three-quarters of urban counties saw population growth over the same period. But what's notable about the growth in these rural counties is that more than half of them ...
Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
Shifting Rurality: Is it Possible to Increase Population and Become More Rural?

In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS) released the 2023 update of the Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCCs), resulting in changes for many counties, including those in the Fifth District. The USDA-ERS developed the nine-code classification system in 1974 to identify a county's level of rurality based on its degree of urbanization and adjacency to a metro area: RUCC 1 is the least rural, and RUCC 9 is the most rural. Following each decennial census, the USDA-ERS does a full update of the RUCCs to reflect population and metro/nonmetro area changes. ...
Regional Matters


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