Local Labor Market Cycles and Their Consequences

Wages, Hours of Work, and Unemployment

by Lee A. Lillard

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This Note presents an analysis of state labor market cycles as represented by the annual average monthly unemployment rate. It discusses the implications both of long-run differences in the level and amplitude of the state cycles and of short-run cyclic variation for the annual incidence and duration of unemployment and for wages and hours of work. The study's findings indicate that the employment environment is not stable. There is enormous variation across areas within the economy at any given time, and the situation in any particular area may change dramatically over time. The degree to which it changes and the environment in which the worker is placed are significantly different in different areas.

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