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Posts tagged with: "JTUHIL"

View this series on FRED

Help wanted…in measuring the availability of jobs

How easily can firms find workers? How long does it take to hire them? These are crucial questions for economists who study unemployment. Unfortunately, the available data are very bad, but for very good reasons.

The main workhorse models of unemployment include, at their core, “search frictions”—forces that prevent willing workers from matching up with available jobs. The models also rely on the following premises: The more willing workers out there, the more likely an available job is filled. And the more available jobs out there, the more likely a worker finds one. But how does an economist define an available job? Is it a posted job vacancy? In the stylized world of economic models, a worker who is hired fills a vacancy that was posted; the posted vacancy is necessary for the hire. However, as we see in the graph, hires almost always outnumber posted vacancies. Clearly, then, many hires occur without an explicit posting. Elsewhere in the labor statistics world, this reality is acknowledged: Unemployment is calculated every month by asking would-be workers how they searched for a job. Responding to a vacancy is only one of a dozen other methods of searching, including asking friends and relatives. The vacancy posting measure clearly undercounts the number of available jobs.

How this graph was created: Search for and select “Hires: Total Nonfarm, Level in Thousands” (first the seasonally adjusted and then the not seasonally adjusted series) and add them to the graph. To create the ratio, we must add the job openings series. In the “Add Data Series” section, search for and select “Job Openings: Total Nonfarm, Level in Thousands, Seasonally Adjusted” and select “Modify existing series” for series 1 (the smoother blue line, which is seasonally adjusted). Then enter the formula a/b in the “Create your own data transformation” section. Now do the same for series 2 (the rockier red line) with the job openings series that is not seasonally adjusted.

Suggested by David Wiczer.

View on FRED, series used in this post: JTSHIL, JTSJOL, JTUHIL, JTUJOL

More on churning in the labor market

The U.S. labor market churns with hirings and firings. The graph above represents this dynamic situation: In red (in negative territory) are all the job separations and in blue (in positive territory) are all the new hires. The end result is the net creation of jobs, shown in white. The series used here are not seasonally adjusted, so one can easily see strong patterns—both throughout individual years and during recessions and booms.

How this graph was created: Search for “Hires: Total Nonfarm” (level in thousands, not seasonally adjusted) and graph that series. Add the series “Total Separations: Total Nonfarm” (level in thousands, not seasonally adjusted). Transform the latter series by applying the formula -a. Create a third series, again using “Hires: Total Nonfarm” (level in thousands, not seasonally adjusted). Choose white for the third series. Add “Total Separations: Total Nonfarm” (level in thousands, not seasonally adjusted) to the third series. Transform the third series using the formula a-b. Then choose graph type “Area.”

A previous post also covered this topic.

Suggested by John Chilton

View on FRED, series used in this post: JTUHIL, JTUTSL

Churning in the labor market

The U.S. labor market changes quite a bit, with hirings, firings, gains, and losses. The graph above represents this dynamic situation: In red (in negative territory) are all the job separations and in blue are all the new hires. The end result is the net creation of jobs. The series used here are not seasonally adjusted, so one can readily see strong patterns—both throughout the individual years and during recessions and booms. It is also remarkable how small the net effect is with respect to the two series. The labor market always moves, and the net gains happen at the margin. But it could be different, of course: Separations could occur mostly or even only during recessions and hires could occur only during booms. But the reason that doesn’t happen is that not every region or every sector of the economy follows the same pattern as the overall economy. Also, even during recessions, people frequently change jobs and businesses need new workers, just as businesses can close even during booms. There is a lot of churning out there.

How this graph was created: Look for “Hires: Total Non Farm” (level in thousands, not seasonally adjusted) and graph that series. Then add the series “Total Separations: Total Nonfarm” (also level in thousands, not seasonally adjusted). Transform the latter series by applying the formula -a. Then choose graph type “Area” with “Normal” stacking.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann

View on FRED, series used in this post: JTUHIL, JTUTSL


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