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134 posts on "Labor Market"
May 22, 2024

Veterans in the Labor Market: 2024 Update

Photo: people in army fatigues lined up single file looking at their backs with the hands clasped behind them.

Veterans constitute a significant segment of the male labor force, and understanding labor market disparities between veterans and non‑veterans is an important component of studying disparities in the economy as a whole. In a previous Liberty Street Economics post, we have shown that even relative to a group of comparable non-veterans, veterans have lower employment and labor force participation rates. One year later, we see that veterans continue to experience lower labor market attachment and the employment gap has widened, though the earnings gap has closed.

Posted at 9:30 am in Labor Market | Permalink | Comments (2)
May 9, 2024

The Post‑Pandemic Shift in Retirement Expectations in the U.S.

Photo: woman riding her bike by the water. Text overlay 10 Years Measuring Consumer Behavior and Expectations

One of the most striking features of the labor market recovery following the pandemic recession has been the surge in quits from 2021 to mid-2023. This surge, often referred to as the Great Resignation, or the Great Reshuffle, was uncommonly large for an economic expansion. In this post, we call attention to a related labor market change that has not been previously highlighted—a persistent change in retirement expectations, with workers reporting much lower expectations of working full-time beyond ages 62 and 67. This decline is particularly notable for female workers and lower-income workers.

Posted at 10:00 am in Expectations, Labor Market | Permalink | Comments (0)
May 7, 2024

Many Places Still Have Not Recovered from the Pandemic Recession

Photo: People standing in line for job & training expo

More than four years have passed since the onset of the pandemic, which resulted in one of the sharpest and deepest economic downturns in U.S. history. While the nation as a whole has recovered the jobs that were lost during the pandemic recession, many places have not. Indeed, job shortfalls remain in more than a quarter of the country’s metro areas, including many in the New York-Northern New Jersey region. In fact, while employment is well above pre-pandemic levels in Northern New Jersey, jobs have only recently recovered in and around New York City, and most of upstate New York—like much of the Rust Belt—still has not fully recovered and has some of the largest job shortfalls in the country.

March 7, 2024

Will the Moderation in Wage Growth Continue?  

Photo of women in an electronics Factory Worker in Blue Work Coat and Protective Glasses is Assembling Smartphones with Screwdriver. High Tech Factory Facility with more Employees in the Background.

Wage growth has moderated notably following its post-pandemic surge, but it remains strong compared to the wage growth prevailing during the low-inflation pre-COVID years. Will the moderation continue, or will it stall? And what does it say about the current state of the labor market? In this post, we use our own measure of wage growth persistence – called Trend Wage Inflation (TWIn in short) – to look at these questions. Our main finding is that, after a rapid decline from 7 percent at its peak in late 2021 to around 5 percent in early 2023, TWin has changed little in recent months, indicating that the moderation in nominal wage growth may have stalled. We also show that our measure of trend wage inflation and labor market tightness comove very closely. Hence, the recent behavior of TWIn is consistent with a still-tight labor market.  

Posted at 12:00 pm in Employment, Inflation, Labor Market | Permalink
January 18, 2024

The Power of Proximity: How Working beside Colleagues Affects Training and Productivity

Firms remain divided about the value of the office for “office” workers. Some firms think that their employees are more productive when working from home. Others believe that the office is a key place for investing in workers’ skills. In this post, which is based on a recent working paper, we examine whether both sides could be right: Could working in the office facilitate investments in workers’ skills for tomorrow that diminish productivity today?

August 23, 2023

Businesses Want Remote Work, Just Not as Much

Photo of African American woman sitting at their desk looking at two screens; one screen has images of many people on a remote call, the other screen has a spreadsheet open.

The enormous increase in remote work that occurred during the pandemic was a response to a temporary public health crisis. Now that the pandemic has passed, just how much remote work will persist and how much are businesses comfortable with? Results from our August regional business surveys indicate that more than 20 percent of all service work and 4 percent of all manufacturing work is currently being done remotely, nearly identical to what was reported a year ago, and this amount of remote work is expected to persist in the year ahead. However, on average, service sector businesses would prefer that about 15 percent of work be done remotely. Indeed, nearly a quarter of service firms have increased requirements for employees to work on-site over the past year and about one in six plan to make further adjustments toward in-person work next year. Ultimately, the degree and persistence of remote work will largely depend on the tightness of the labor market, as businesses report that while remote work does have its downsides, it has been particularly helpful for attracting and retaining workers.

June 20, 2023

Is Work‑from‑Home Working?

Decorative image: man working on laptop at home with dog sitting next to him

Though some offices have re-opened as the pandemic has receded, many workers have continued to work from home. Recent survey data suggest that workers would like more remote-work days than firms want to supply—a pattern that was evident even before the pandemic. Why have firms been so reluctant to offer remote work? And what will the recent seismic shift in remote work mean for the economy?

Posted at 7:00 am in Labor Market | Permalink
May 25, 2023

Do Veterans Face Disparities in the Labor Market—And What Accounts for Them?

Illustration of veteran reading the jobs listings in a newspaper.

We continue our series on military service and consider veterans’ earnings and labor market outcomes. We find that veterans earn more than 12 percent less and are 4 percentage points (18 percent) more likely to be out of the labor force than comparable nonveterans. Interestingly, accounting for veterans’ differences from comparable nonveterans in terms of education and disability status largely explains these labor market differences.

May 10, 2023

Assessing the Outlook for Employment across Industries

Decorative photo: workers walking on city street during rush hour

Job gains exceeded output growth in 2022, bringing GDP per worker back down to its trend level after being well above for an extended period. Employment is consequently set to grow slower than output going forward, as it typically does. Breaking down the GDP per worker by industry, though, shows a significant divergence between the services and goods-producing sectors. Productivity in the services sector was modestly above its pre-pandemic path at the end of last year, suggesting room for relatively strong employment growth, with the gap particularly large in the health care, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality sectors. Productivity in goods-producing industries, though, was depressed, implying that payroll growth is set to lag that sector’s GDP growth.   

Posted at 7:00 am in Labor Market, Macroeconomics | Permalink
April 13, 2023

How Did New York City’s Economy Weather the Pandemic?

Decorative photo: Skyline Of Manhattan From The Highline and Empire State Building, New York City, USA

When COVID-19 first struck the U.S. in early 2020, New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic. By early April, there was an unthinkable scale of suffering, with massive hospitalizations and roughly 800 fatalities per day, accounting for nearly half of the nationwide total. The rapid spread was facilitated by the city’s extraordinarily high population density and widespread use of mass transit. What followed was a quick and massive shutdown of restaurants, retail stores, personal services, offices, and more. And the shutdowns, of course, led to widespread job losses. Between February and May, one out of five jobs in the city vanished; in the restaurant industry, 70 percent of jobs were lost. Although the pandemic didn’t go away, the city’s economy has recovered steadily, aside from a brief but sharp setback in late 2020. By early 2023, New York had finally reversed just about all of the total job loss. In this post, we look at the contours of the city’s recovery as a possible guide to where we go from here.

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