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Labor

Large, Dominant Firms Depress Local Wages; Housing Costs Help Offset Lower Pay

Joseph Tracy and Matthew E. Kahn

Concern has increased about the ability of very large firms to exert market power and hold down wages in localities where they dominate.

January 07, 2020

Moderate Wage Growth Spurs Search for ‘Hidden Slack’ in Labor Market

Michael Morris, Robert Rich and Joseph Tracy

In recent years, much has been made about the idea of hidden slack—unused labor capacity not captured by the unemployment rate.

December 17, 2019

Hours Worked by Women Age 55 to 61 Confound Labor Market Analysis

Carlos E. Zarazaga and Andrew Gross

The seemingly anomalous low LIUR of one particular demographic group poses a challenge for assessing the extent to which the U.S. economy is currently close to full employment.

November 26, 2019

What’s Up (or Not Up) with Wages?

Michael Morris, Robert Rich and Joseph Tracy

This is the third of three articles that talk about the natural rate of unemployment, the unemployment rate that would prevail in a “neutral” labor market after removing all movement due to the business cycle.

November 12, 2019

Failed Background Check, Drug Testing Stall Hiring of Low-Skilled Workers

Wenhua Di, Emily Kerr and Christopher Slijk

Many companies seek to add employees as the state economy continues expanding at an above-average pace. But not all can find the workers they need.

October 17, 2019

Labor Market Slack Disappeared by 2016

Michael Morris, Robert Rich and Joseph Tracy

This is the second of three articles that talk about the natural rate of unemployment, the unemployment rate that would prevail in a “neutral” labor market after removing all movement due to the business cycle.

October 15, 2019

A Natural Approach to Estimating the ‘Natural Rate’ of Unemployment

Michael Morris, Robert Rich and Joseph Tracy

The unemployment rate is a widely viewed gauge of U.S. labor market slack or tightness. Because of structural changes to the labor market over time, assessments about slack/tightness require a reference point called the “natural rate of unemployment.”

October 08, 2019

Domestic Migration to Texas Slows as National Labor Markets Tighten

Keith R. Phillips and Alexander T. Abraham

Despite a strong economy and historically low unemployment rates in Texas, net domestic migration to Texas from other states has slowed since 2015.

September 03, 2019

As Wages Rise, Are Black Workers Seeing the Smallest Gains?

Michael Morris, Robert Rich and Joseph Tracy

A recent article argued that black workers have received the smallest earnings gains among various groups since the beginning of the Great Recession. Our analysis suggests otherwise.

July 16, 2019

Labor Scarcity, Trade Woes Squeeze Texas Business, Survey Finds

Emily Kerr and Christopher Slijk

Businesses face difficulty both trying to hire in a historically tight labor market and navigating tariffs and trade policy uncertainty.

July 11, 2019

Room to Grow? Inflation and Labor Market Slack

Jim Dolmas and Evan F. Koenig

Compared with the usual ex-food-and-energy measure, the Dallas Fed’s Trimmed Mean PCE inflation rate sends a clearer, more reliable signal about whether cyclical inflation pressures are building.

May 30, 2019

Dallas Fed’s Texas Jobs Estimates Provide Early, Accurate Assessment

Keith R. Phillips and Alexander T. Abraham

The Bureau of Labor Statistics annually revises regional job estimates in a process called benchmarking. A Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas adjustment provides researchers a more current means of assessing Texas economic conditions.

May 16, 2019

Online Retailing, Self-Employment Disrupt Inflation

John V. Duca

The employment status of increasing numbers of workers has become contingent in recent years—that is, there is greater freelance, or “gig,” employment. This development has coincided over the past two decades with an era of increasing online commerce that provides consumers a wider array of products and services at competitive prices.

April 16, 2019

How Much Do Movers Move Average Wage Growth?

Michael Morris, Robert Rich and Joseph Tracy

Data from the Current Population Survey, a household survey used to compute the unemployment rate, do not include individuals who change residences. If it could include movers, our previous estimate of 2018 average individual wage growth would increase from 5.0 percent to 5.5 percent or higher.

March 26, 2019

Southwest Economy, First Quarter 2019

Lower Oil Prices, Tight Labor Markets to Restrain Texas Growth in 2019

Keith R. Phillips and Judy Teng

Texas' economy should expand in 2019, though at a slower rate than in the prior year.

March 22, 2019

Is Wage Growth Higher than We Think?

Michael Morris, Robert Rich and Joseph Tracy

There is always widespread interest in the degree to which the U.S. labor market generates higher pay for workers. A standard measure of wage growth suggests that this expansion is not improving the standard of living of workers, but our analysis reveals that actual wage growth is understated.

February 26, 2019

Not Everything Is Bigger in Texas: The Varied Fortunes of Four Smaller Metros

Laila Assanie, Pia Orrenius and Michael Weiss

While Texas’ major metropolitan areas power the bulk of the state’s commercial activity, some smaller metros have worked to establish their place as part of the state’s economic mosaic.

February 21, 2019

Changes in Labor Force Participation Help Explain Recent Job Gains

Alex Richter, Tyler Atkinson and Laton Russell

The U.S. labor force participation rate declined following the Great Recession to a low of 62.3 percent in 2015.

February 19, 2019

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