“Unemployment Rises Like a Rocket and Falls Like a Feather”

(p. B7) Robert Hall, an economics professor at Stanford University, says the job matching process has progressed in two stages. Last year, millions of people were called back to their jobs from temporary layoffs and the unemployment rate descended quickly from 14.8% to 6.7%. This year, the progress has slowed markedly; the jobless rate fell from 6.3% in January [2021] to 5.9% in June.

Mr. Hall and Marianna Kudlyak at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco studied the past 10 recoveries and concluded that U.S. job recoveries have a common pattern. In normal times, they find, “unemployment rises like a rocket and falls like a feather.”

“The easy stuff has been accomplished,” Mr. Hall said in an interview. The rest of the job recovery, he concluded, is going to take some time.

For the full story, see:

Jon Hilsenrath and Sarah Chaney Cambon. “The Mismatch That Is Hammering Job Prospects.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, July 10, 2021): B1 & B6-B7.

(Note: bracketed year added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date July 9, 2021, and has the title “Why Aren’t Millions of Unemployed Americans Finding Jobs?”)

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