DP15646 The Inexorable Recoveries of US Unemployment
|Author(s):||Robert E. Hall, Marianna Kudlyak|
|Publication Date:||January 2021|
|Keyword(s):||Business cycle, NAIRU, Natural unemployment rate, Recession, recovery, unemployment|
|JEL(s):||E32, J63, J64|
|Programme Areas:||Monetary Economics and Fluctuations|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15646|
Unemployment recoveries in the US have been inexorable. It is a remarkable fact that, prior to 2020, after unemployment reached its peak in a recession, and a recovery began, the annual reduction in the unemployment rate was stable at around 0.1 log points per year. The economy seems to have an irresistible force toward restoring full employment. Unless another crisis intervenes, unemployment continues to glide down to its minimum level of approximately 3.5 percentage points. The observed behavior of unemployment casts doubt on the common assumption that there is a constant natural rate of unemployment around which unemployment oscillates. Instead, the natural rate of unemployment during recoveries tracks actual unemployment on its downward path.