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Net job creation in the US economy: lessons from monthly data, 1950–2011

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This article studies the monthly net job creation (NJC) at the aggregate and the sectoral levels in the United States over the period 1950 to 2011. The article has few important findings. First, NJC did not show a significant trend over the last six decades, which led to a fall in the NJC rate. Second, NJC was very volatile and it could change course even in the span of 1 month. Third, there was no clear pattern about the co-movement between NJC and the change in the unemployment rate. Fourth, the averages of total NJC and private NJC since late 2010 were significantly higher than their respective historical averages and the volatility in NJC since the end of the Great Recession was not unusual by historical standards. Fifth, while the evidence about the effects of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on employment is inconclusive, some sectors appeared to benefit from it. Finally, the most frequent drop in the unemployment rate was by 0.1%, and drops of more than 0.2% should not be highly expected.

Keywords: E24; J21; J60; US labour force; US net job creation; US unemployment rate; the Great Recession

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, 79409, USA

Publication date: August 3, 2014

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