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Keywords:labor market 

Discussion Paper
A Penny for Your Thoughts? How Survey Comments Help Us Understand Our Region’s Labor Market

We regularly report the quantitative results from the Richmond Fed business surveys, but participants' comments also provide useful context for changes in local business conditions. Most recently, a survey of human resources professionals complemented our surveys of area businesses. The comments from both surveys have provided insight into the region's labor market, as well as indicated that the persistent challenge of finding workers has led executives and recruiters to intensify their efforts and expand the tools they use to attract workers.
Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
How to Get the (High-Skilled) Workers?

Over the past year, the labor market has been extremely tight, with record high job openings and historically low unemployment. So, it's no surprise that firms have struggled to find workers. To overcome hiring challenges, firms have been using various strategies, the most common of which is wage increases. Those strategies may be paying off to some extent: Our Fifth District business surveys suggest that the worst of the challenge finding workers has passed. Nonetheless, firms are still reporting difficulties, and our most recent survey revealed a notable shift in the type of workers firms ...
Regional Matters

Journal Article
Post-Pandemic Labor Shortages Have Limited the Effect of Monetary Policy on the Labor Market

The labor market has so far shown remarkable resilience to the Federal Reserve’s recent monetary policy tightening. Severe labor shortages in the post-pandemic era have led many employers to hold on to workers and hire less-skilled workers—even though they expect demand for their goods or services to weaken in the future. As a result, unemployment remains low, and labor productivity has declined.
Economic Bulletin

Discussion Paper
The State of Hiring in the Fifth District

The past two years have been marked by a historically tight labor market in which many firms have had difficulty hiring and retaining workers who possess the necessary skill sets. In a recent post, we explored evidence from our business surveys that suggests that the labor market may be cooling somewhat. Our employment and availability of skills indexes have returned to pre-pandemic levels, and our estimates of wage growth have come down from their 2022 peak. Nonetheless, wage growth estimates remain above pre-pandemic levels, and data from our August surveys suggests that many firms are ...
Regional Matters

Journal Article
President's Message: A Shift in the Inflation Winds?

At the Fed, a lot of work has gone into anchoring inflation expectations in recent decades. As a result, our economy has seen, from the early 1980s until last year, an era of remarkably low and stable inflation — sometimes called "the Great Moderation."
Econ Focus , Volume 22 , Issue 3Q , Pages 1

Speech
Remarks at the Women’s Leadership Conference with the Vermont Bankers Association

The speech touched on three topics: 1) the economy and monetary policy; 2) the Boston Fed; and 3) thoughts on leadership challenges and opportunities, especially for women.
Speech

Journal Article
A Tight Labor Market Could Keep Rent Inflation Elevated

Rent inflation responds more to labor market conditions compared with other components of inflation. We attribute this link between labor market tightness and rent inflation to greater demand for rental units afforded by job gains and wage growth. Although online measures of asking rents currently suggest official measures of rent inflation will decline, we caution that rent inflation is likely to remain above pre-pandemic levels so long as the labor market remains tight.
Economic Bulletin , Issue March 1st, 2023 , Pages 4

Discussion Paper
Lagging Labor Force Participation in Maryland and Virginia

By July 2022, the U.S. had officially regained the jobs lost in the pandemic, the unemployment rate matched its pre-pandemic low, and the size of the labor force (the sum of employed and unemployed looking for work) was almost back to its pre-pandemic level. The same was true for many states in the Fifth District. Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia had recovered nearly all the jobs lost in February and March of 2020, while North and South Carolina had more than fully recovered. Unemployment rates were at or below pre-pandemic rates across much of the Fifth District as well.
Regional Matters

Working Paper
Household Liquidity and Macroeconomic Stabilization: Evidence from Mortgage Forbearance

We estimate the impact of household liquidity provision on macroeconomic stabilization using the 2020 CARES Act mortgage forbearance program. We leverage intermediation frictions in forbearance induced by mortgage servicers to identify the effect of reducing short-term payments with little change in long-term debt obligations on local labor market outcomes. Following statewide business reopenings, a 1 percentage point increase in the share of mortgages in forbearance leads to a 30 basis point increase in monthly employment growth in nontradable industries. In a model incorporating ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-12

Is the Labor Market as Tight as It Seems?

Accounting for employed workers who left for new jobs suggests that the labor market is not as tight as the conventional measure would imply.
On the Economy

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