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Keywords:wages 

Newsletter
Explaining Variation in Real Wage Growth Over the Recent Expansion

In August 2019 the unemployment rate was roughly 1 percentage point below the Congressional Budget Office?s (CBO) estimate of its long-run or natural rate, nearly matching the unemployment rate gap that developed during the historically tight labor market of the late 1990s. Nevertheless, real wage growth remains well below its pace of the late 1990s and even that of the milder 2000s expansion.
Chicago Fed Letter

Newsletter
Understanding the Relationship between Real Wage Growth and Labor Market Conditions

The authors find that the share of the labor force that is medium-term unemployed (five to 26 weeks unemployed) and the share working part time (less than 35 hours per week) involuntarily are strongly correlated with real wage growth. Moreover, they estimate that average real wage growth would have been between one-half of a percentage point and a full percentage point higher in June 2014 if 2005?07 labor market conditions had been restored, indicating that the slack in the jobs market still weighs heavily on the real wage prospects of U.S. workers.
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue Oct

Newsletter
Wage Growth, Inflation and the Labor Share

The recent pattern of nominal wage growth has been a puzzle to economists, researchers and policymakers because it lies well below the trend wage growth predicted by inflation and productivity growth. We show that the difference can be reconciled by accounting for the labor share of output, which has been on a declining trend for the past 15 years.
Chicago Fed Letter

Working Paper
Minimum wages and firm employment: evidence from China

This paper studies how minimum wage policies affect firm employment in China using a unique county level minimum wage data set matched to disaggregated firm survey data. We investigate both the effect of imposing a minimum wage, and the effect of the policies that tightened enforcement in 2004. We find that the average effect of minimum wage changes is modest and positive, and that there is a detectable effect after enforcement reform. Firms have heterogeneous responses to minimum wage changes which can be accounted for by differences in their wage levels and profit margins: firms with high ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 173

Newsletter
Does Automation Always Lead to a Decline in Low-Wage Jobs?

To what extent are low-wage jobs in the United States being replaced by technology? Our research suggests that low-wage jobs that are intensive in routine cognitive tasks, such as cashier, were supplanted by automation during the 2000s. Moreover, since the Great Recession, jobs intensive in both routine manual and routine cognitive tasks have been negatively impacted by automation. Nevertheless, the overall effect on individual low-wage workers has been surprisingly small.
Chicago Fed Letter

Working Paper
Monopsony in Spatial Equilibrium

An emerging labor economics literature studies the consequences of firms exercising market power in local labor markets. These monopsony models have implications for trends in earnings inequality. The extent of this market power is likely to vary across local labor markets. In choosing what market to live and work in, workers trade off wages, rents and local amenities. Building on the Rosen/Roback spatial equilibrium model, we investigate how the existence of local monopsony power affects the cross-sectional spatial distribution of wages and rents across cities. We find an employment-weighted ...
Working Papers , Paper 1912

Newsletter
What Does Labor Market Tightness Tell Us About the End of an Expansion?

We use a model based on the historical relationships between unemployment, inflation, and recessions, along with the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC),1 to examine the medium-term implications of current and projected unemployment rates for the U.S. economy. Our model predicts a low probability of a recession in the next two to three years based on SEP forecasts for additional labor market tightening over this horizon.
Chicago Fed Letter

Discussion Paper
What Is behind the Global Jump in Personal Saving during the Pandemic?

Household saving has soared in the United States and other high-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite widespread declines in wages and other private income streams. This post highlights the role of fiscal policy in driving the saving boom, through stepped-up social benefits and other income support measures. Indeed, in the United States, Japan, and Canada, government assistance has pushed household income above its pre-pandemic trajectory. We argue that the larger scale of government assistance in these countries helps explain why saving in these countries has risen more ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210414

Discussion Paper
How Do Firms Respond to Hiring Difficulties? Evidence from the Federal Reserve Banks' Small Business Credit Survey

Using data from the Federal Reserve Banks' 2017 Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS), this paper investigates the various ways in which different types of firms with less than 500 employees experience and address hiring difficulties, including when they decide to increase compensation. {{p}} The authors find significant variation in hiring difficulties by type of firm, and a firm's response appears to depend on the nature of the problem. The most common response is to increase compensation, with firms that experience competition from other employers being the most likely to do so. Other common ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2018-1

Discussion Paper
The Survey of Consumer Expectations Turns Two!

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) turned two years old in June. In this post, we review some of the key findings from the first two years of the survey’s history, highlighting the most noteworthy trends revealed in the data.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150713a

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