Though labor market statistics are often reported and discussed at the national level, conditions can vary quite a bit across individual states. We explore differences in these labor market conditions across US states before and after the Great Recession using a ratio of the number of unemployed workers to job vacancies. We show that the intensity of the adverse effects of the recession and the strength of the recovery varied geographically at all points in the process. We also demonstrate that wage growth is delayed until the ratio of unemployed workers to job vacancies returns to prerecession levels.
Evaluating what constitutes a "normal" level for the unemployment rate is an important issue for policymakers, who need to assess how close the economy is to full employment. We introduce a framework that enables us to calculate the normal unemployment rate for each of the four states in the Fourth District and compare that rate to the national normal rate. We conclude that these states and the District as a whole have very little labor market slack left from the Great Recession.
One way a household might handle financial distress is to relocate to another area that offers greater income opportunities. This article examines the impact of geographic mobility on consumer finances by focusing on the residents of "boom towns" - areas that saw a surge of growth in oil-drilling activity around 2010 and a bust thereafter. We find that residents who move after the bust experience stronger consumer financial health than residents who stay put.
Monetary policymakers often use simple monetary policy rules, like the Taylor rule, as an input into their decision-making. However, there are many different simple rules, and there is no agreement on a single “best” rule. We look at the federal funds rates coming from seven simple rules and three economic forecasts to investigate the range of results that can be produced. While there are some commonalities, we document that the differences in the federal funds rates suggested by the rules can be quite pronounced.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many researchers, analysts, and policymakers have taken a keener interest in the unemployment rate not only as a gauge of current economic conditions, but also as a variable of interest for forecasting.