ERIC Number: ED317682
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Sep
The Unemployment Experience of the Workforce. Background Paper No. 15.
Leonard, Jonathan S.; Horrigan, Michael W.
Except for the increasing labor force shares of youth in the early 1970s, the impact of the changing age and sex composition of the labor force did not make a significant contribution to rising unemployment rates between 1969 and 1982. When compared to the recoveries over that period, however, the current recovery is marked by a significant impact of the changing shares of different age groups, especially the declining share of teenagers. In general, the movement of the baby-boom cohort into prime age groups with their relatively lower rates of unemployment has tended to decrease the natural rate of unemployment. During 1969-88, the average level of educational attainment has increased. Job loss was the dominant reason for unemployment from 1962 to 1988. Although there was a dramatic decrease in the labor force share of the manufacturing sector and a relative increase in the service-producing sector, industry decomposition of the labor force suggests these shifts did not have a significant impact on the secularly rising unemployment rates between 1969 and 1982. Across that period there was a dramatic increase in the proportion of individuals who are long-term unemployed, an increase that has not been reversed by the current upward trend. That increase has been due to increased representation of 25- to 44-year-old males and people who have lost jobs. No single industry has experienced disproportionate gains or losses in its share of total long-term unemployment. Unemployment may be reduced by increasing aggregate demand through fiscal policy, increasing investments in education and training, improving information on job availability and persistence, and increasing the flexible use of labor within firms. (The document contains 9 tables, 4 charts, and 27 references.) (CML)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC. Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In "Investing in People: A Strategy to Address America's Workforce Crisis" (CE 054 080).