In a new INET working paper, we examine inequality in employment outcomes across social groups during recessions. We take a comparative perspective, studying results from two recent and severe US recessions: the “Great Recession” linked with the global financial crisis beginning in late 2007 and the “lockdown” recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Comparing these two events presents an interesting case study to explore inequality in recessions.
The severity of a recession depends both on how much employment declines and the persistence of those declines. The primary job-months lost statistic in our analysis is designed to capture both of these dimensions. This measure simply adds up the difference between actual employment and pre-recession employment over the recession months. For example, if the pre-recession employment trend for a demographic group was flat and a person in that group lost a job in April but went back to work in July, that person’s experience would add three job-months lost to the total in their demographic group.
Author(s): Steven Fazzari, Ella Needler
Publication Date: 19 April 2021
Publication Site: Institute for New Economic Thinking
Chile´s Congress on Friday approved by a large majority a move to allow citizens to withdraw a third tranche of their privately held pensions to assuage economic hardship wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lawmakers in the country´s lower house approved the measure with 119 to 17, with 3 abstentions, prompting cheering and applause. Senators greenlighted the move earlier this week.
Previously, Congress approved two withdrawals of 10% from pension pots in July and December, with the help of members of President Sebastian Pinera’s Chile Vamos coalition who defied instructions to vote the initiatives down.
RECESSIONS TYPICALLY hit men harder than women, not least because they tend to disproportionately affect male-dominated industries, such as construction and manufacturing. In the recession of 2008-09, for example, men accounted for some three-quarters of American job losses. The most recent downturn, by contrast, has weighed on female-dominated sectors, such as retail and hospitality. Last year the share of women on American payrolls fell from 50% in March 2020 to 49.1% two months later, before inching back up to 49.8% today.
A recent paper by three economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco suggests that some of the disparity can be explained by differences in parental responsibilities. Using monthly data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, the researchers analysed the labour-market outcomes of four groups of prime-age workers (those aged from 25 to 54): mothers; fathers; women without children; and men without children. They found that women suffered more than men in the wake of the pandemic but mothers fared worst of all. Between February and December the employment rate of mums dropped by 7% and their labour-force participation rate fell by 4%. Fathers, by comparison, suffered the least among the four groups—even less than childless men. Their employment and labour-force participation rates fell by 4% and 1%, respectively. Another recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis found that that the effect was biggest for mothers with children under five.