Labor supply still really matters

We also document a sharp decline in desired work hours during the pandemic that persists through the end of 2021 and is roughly double the drop in the labor force participation rate. Ignoring the decline in desired hours overstates the degree of underutilization by 2.5 percentage points (12.5%). Our findings suggest that, as of 2021Q4, the labor market is tighter than suggested by the unemployment rate and the adverse labor supply effect of the pandemic is more pronounced than implied by the labor force participation rate.

That is from a new NBER working paper by R. Jason Faberman, Andreas I. Mueller, and  Ayşegül Şahin.


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