The rate of short-term unemployment—six months or less—is almost back to normal. In January it was 4.9 percent of the labor force. That’s only 0.7 percentage point above its 2001-07 average. But the rate of long-term unemployment, 3 percent in January, is precisely triple its 2001-07 average, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek calculation based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data. (Those two rates—4.9 percent and 3 percent—add up to the overall unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.) A striking statistic: The long-term unemployed make up 38 percent of all workers without jobs, double the average share and just a few notches down from the 2010-11 peak of 45 percent.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
One of the main policies to reduce long-term unemployment is an active labor market policy. The OECD publishes each year data on Government investments in labor market programs like training and wage subsidies.
Gemany and the Scandinavian countries are champions of active labor market policies. This is well known. But, less known is the fact that the US are not. US investment in active labor market programs before the Great recession wasbelow the OECD average, nearly 4 times lower: 0.13% of GDP vs 0.48%.
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Since the onset of the Great Recession, there has been a change in the relationship between the unemployment rate and vacancy rate in the U.S.” write Bart Hobijn and Aysegul Sahin in Beveridge Curve Shifts across Countries since the Great Recession on frbsf.org. (Choosen excerpts by JMM to follow) This relationship, summarized by the Beveridgecurve, was remarkably … Continue reading»
Bernanke : While I do not see much evidence of any significant increase in structural unemployment so far, I am concerned that structural unemployment could increase over time if the labor market heals too slowly–a phenomenon known as hysteresis. I do not interpret data suggesting an outward shift in the Beveridge curve as providing much evidence … Continue reading »
US unemployment seems stuck at an unusually high level of 8%, prompting some to suggest a widespread skills mismatch. This column argues that a skills mismatch is not supported by the evidence. Rather, out of the possible explanations, it seems that any shift in the ratio between unemployment and vacancies is driven by either lower … Continue reading »
Americans age 55 and older are struggling to rebound from a dramatic spike in unemployment since December 2007.Seniors have experienced consistently longer periods of unemployment than younger workers, as employers seek cheaper labor and look to skirt potentially higher health care costs, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office released earlier this year. …Continue reading »