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Waxing Jobs and Waning Industries

Yongseok Shin, Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee and Sangmin Aum
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Sangmin Aum: Washington University in St.Louis

No 1618, 2017 Meeting Papers from Society for Economic Dynamics

Abstract: We study the changes in employment across industries and occupations over business cycles. For a detailed industry-occupation classification, we use annual data (Current Population Survey from 1980 to 2000 and American Community Survey from 2001 to 2014). We find a striking novel pattern: Employment losses during recession years are concentrated in a small number of industries, but employment gains during expansion years are driven by a set of occupations across all industries. This asymmetric pattern is clearer in the ACS years, because of the larger sample size. We use a version of the model developed in Lee and Shin (2016) that incorporates costs of switching occupations and/or industries. The estimated model will help us answer two important questions. 1. Why are expansions (driven by occupations) slow and persistent, but contractions (driven by sectors) sudden and shorter-lived? 2. Why are the employment recoveries from certain recessions slower than others?

Date: 2017
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