Reassessing the Beveridge Curve “Shift” Four Years Later
Early on in the current recovery, economists and policymakers were worried about a potential shift in the Beveridge curve—an empirical relationship between job openings and unemployment that is viewed as a measure of the efficiency with which the labor market is matching unemployed workers to the available openings. Exactly four years ago, we touched upon this issue here, and argued that it was too early to call what had happened a shift. Well, four years later, we have 16 more quarterly data points to inform us.
Industries, Job Growth, and Poverty Trends
The shares of a county’s employment that are in each major industry classification are correlated with the county’s poverty rate. Employment shares in healthcare and public administration, for example, are positively correlated with poverty rates, while employment shares in professional services and construction are negatively correlated with poverty rates. In this analysis, we examine some of the changes in these correlations in recent years. We will also look at the changes in industry employment that have accompanied changes in county poverty rates.
The Evolution of Household Leverage during the Recovery
Recent research has shown that geographic areas that experienced greater household deleveraging during the recession also experienced relatively severe economic contractions and slower recoveries. This analysis explores geographic variations in household debt over the past recession and recovery. It finds that regions that had very high household leverage at the start of the recession have shifted back toward national norms, while the variation of leverage within metro areas has maintained steady relationships with neighborhood characteristics such as location, demographics, and the age of the housing stock.