Recent U.S. Labor Force Dynamics : Reversible or not?

Author/Editor:

Ravi Balakrishnan ; Mai Dao ; Juan Sole ; Jeremy Zook

Publication Date:

April 2, 2015

Electronic Access:

Free Full Text (PDF file size is 1118 KB).Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

The U.S. labor force participation rate (LFPR) fell dramatically following the Great Recession and has yet to start recovering. A key question is how much of the post-2007 decline is reversible, something which is central to the policy debate. The key finding of this paper is that while around ¼–? of the post-2007 decline is reversible, the LFPR will continue to decline given population aging. This paper’s measure of the “employment gap” also suggests that labor market slack remains and will only decline gradually, pointing to a still important role for stimulative macro-economic policies to help reach full employment. In addition, given the continued downward pressure on the LFPR, labor supply measures will be an essential component of the strategy to boost potential growth. Finally, stimulative macroeconomic and labor supply policies should also help reduce the scope for further hysteresis effects to develop (e.g., loss of skills, discouragement).

Series:

Working Paper No. 15/76

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

April 2, 2015

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484315620/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2015076

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

29

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