New Data on Worker Flows During Business Cycles
The most obvious economic cost of recessions is that workers become involuntarily unemployed. During the average business cycle contraction, total employment declines by about 1.5 percent, the unemployment rate rises by 2.7 percentage points, and it takes almost two years before employment recovers its pre-recession level. Both fiscal policy and monetary policy are concerned with these business cycle deviations of employment from its "full-employment" or "equilibrium" level.
The aggregate statistics on employment and unemployment mask economically important information about the composition of the unemployed and their experience over time. This paper examines the differential experience during a business cycle of those who quit their jobs, those who are on layoff subject to future recall, and those who suffer permanent job separations. Using a new data set that assembles the flows of workers into and out of unemployment, employment, and not-in-the-labor-force, the authors examine the behavior over time of workers who enter and leave the ranks of the unemployed, grouped by the reason for unemployment. They find that a closer look at the flows into and out of unemployment that lie beneath changes in total unemployment improves forecasts of inflation and unemployment, relative to standard models.Data files
The data are accessible through links to .txt files, listed by figure number and title. These files are available as space delimited text files with a double quote (") text qualifier, and missing values are indicated by "Nan." Those figures with multiple plots have one .txt file that includes all plots, appended one after the other.
Your browser configuration will determine what you see when you link to a particular data file. You should be able to save any of the data files to your own computer by following the link to the desired file, and then selecting File, Save As.
|Gross WorkerFlows into and out of Employment|
|Average MonthlyValues of Gross Stocks and Flows for Employment,Unemployment, and Not in the Labor Force|
|Flows out ofEmployment, by Reason for Unemployment|
|Escape Ratesfrom Unemployment, by Reason Unemployed|
|Worker Flowsin Manufacturing and Nonmanufacturing Sectors|
|Worker Flowsby Industry|
|Escape Ratesfrom Unemployment into Employment, by Sector ofPrevious Employment|
|Worker andJob Flows in Manufacturing|
|Comparisonof "Permanent" Worker Flows and Job Flowsin Manufacturing|
|Duration ofCompleted Unemployment Spells|
|ExplainingHigh Unemployment Duration in the 1990s|
|Ratio of U-->NFlows to U-->E Flows|
|AlternativeLabor Market Indicators of Inflation|