By Thomas Hyclak

Booklet through Hyclak, Thomas, Johnes, Geraint

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Our reasons for disaggregating the analysis to state and metropolitan areas are several. First and foremost, we disaggregate because labor market decisions are typically reached at the local level. In a full employment world, migration might be expected to equalize remuneration for given work across localities, thus removing in the long run any distinction between areas. However, the same is not true if unemployment exists, or if migration responds imperfectly to labor market inequalities. Areas where unemployment is high can maintain a stable labor force only if remuneration is also high relative to that obtainable elsewhere.

Hence, our concern throughout is with measuring and explaining regional differences in real wage rigidity. Kniesner and Goldsmith's (1987) analysis of cyclical unemployment emphasizes the role of labor demand shifts resulting from decreased real output. 1, merely determining the number unemployed at any given level of demand and fixed real wage. In a regional labor market setting, however, it is possible that labor supply changes through net migration would play a more significant role in determining the unemployment rate and its persistence.

However, the role of wage rigidity in explaining unemployment is immediately clear.  Recession. Source: Kniesner and Goldsmith (1987) the decline in labor demand on total employment, and therefore in the unemployment rate, would be much less pronounced. 1 would fall only from N1 to N2 instead of to N3, if the real wage fell so as to clear the market. Real wage rigidity also plays a prominent role in explaining unemployment persistence. If labor demand remains depressed for several time periods and the real wage moves slowly if at all to the market-clearing level, then the time series data on the unemployment rate will exhibit persistencea rise in unem- Page 5 ployment in one period will not be offset by a fall in subsequent periods because the automatic adjustment mechanism in the market fails to work properly.

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