The Divergent Signals about Labor Market Slack
Troy Gilchrist and
Bart Hobijn ()
FRBSF Economic Letter, 2021, vol. 2021, issue 15, 01-06
A broad dashboard of indicators is sending mixed signals about the state of the labor market. Some indicators have deviated widely from their normal historical relationships since the onset of COVID-19. Because of the uneven economic impact of the pandemic, the labor force participation rate, payroll employment, and the share of job losers among the unemployed have provided more reliable signals about overall conditions than other components of the dashboard. They suggest that labor slack is higher than implied by the current headline unemployment rate.
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