Unemployment, Marginal Attachment and Labor Force Participation in Canada and the United States

McMaster University, Department of Economics Working Paper No. 2017-07

63 Pages Posted: 16 May 2017

See all articles by Stephen Robert Glenville Jones

Stephen Robert Glenville Jones

McMaster Economics

W. Craig Riddell

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1, 2017

Abstract

We analyze changes in unemployment, marginal labor force attachment and participation in Canada and the U.S. Using two complementary decompositions, we show the importance for the comparative evolution of aggregate unemployment of changes in the fraction of the non-employed who are unemployed and in the fraction of the unemployed who ‘want work’. Using microdata we study labor market transition behavior at these margins, finding remarkably consistent results in the two countries, with the marginally attached displaying behavior lying between unemployment and non-attachment. The three non-employment states are distinct from one another in both Canada and the U.S.

Keywords: Unemployment, Labor Force, Canada, United States, Labor Force Participation, Non-Employment, Marginal Attachment, Labor Force Transitions, Heterogeneity

JEL Classification: E24, E32, J63, J64

Suggested Citation

Jones, Stephen Robert Glenville and Riddell, W. Craig, Unemployment, Marginal Attachment and Labor Force Participation in Canada and the United States (April 1, 2017). McMaster University, Department of Economics Working Paper No. 2017-07 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2968475 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2968475

Stephen Robert Glenville Jones (Contact Author)

McMaster Economics ( email )

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W. Craig Riddell

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada
604-822-2106 (Phone)

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