Changes in Unemployment Duration and Labor Force Attachment

62 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2001 Last revised: 7 Oct 2021

See all articles by Katharine G. Abraham

Katharine G. Abraham

University of Maryland - Joint Program in Survey Methodology and Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert Shimer

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 2001

Abstract

This paper accounts for the observed increase in unemployment duration relative to the unemployment rate in the U.S. over the past thirty years, typified by the record low level of short-term unemployment. We show that part of the increase is due to changes in how duration is measured, a consequence of the 1994 Current Population Survey redesign. Another part is due to the passage of the baby boomers into their prime working years. After accounting for these shifts, most of the remaining increase in unemployment duration relative to the unemployment rate is concentrated among women, whose unemployment rate has fallen sharply in the last two decades while their unemployment duration has increased. Using labor market transition data, we show that this is a consequence of the increase in women's labor force attachment.

Suggested Citation

Abraham, Katharine G. and Shimer, Robert J., Changes in Unemployment Duration and Labor Force Attachment (October 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=285652

Katharine G. Abraham (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Joint Program in Survey Methodology and Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Robert J. Shimer

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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773-702-8490 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://home.uchicago.edu/~shimer/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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