Recent Changes In The Characteristics Of Unemployed Workers
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We examine how gender, racial, and ethnic variation in unemployment and Unemployment Insurance (UI) receipt changed over time in the U.S. economy and how these changes are influenced by shifts in the occupational and industrial composition of employment. Using Current Population Survey (CPS) data, we find that, in the past 50 years, the unemployment rates for women, nonwhites, and Hispanics have been converging to those of the rest of the population. Between 1992 and 2007, women had the same unemployment rates as men; nonwhites still had higher unemployment rates than whites; and the rate for Hispanics was approaching that of non-Hispanics. Once we control for industry-occupation differences, women have higher unemployment and UI receipt rates than men, while Hispanics have similar unemployment rates but lower UI receipt rates than non-Hispanics. Nonwhites still have appreciably higher unemployment rates but the same UI receipt rates as whites.
Department of Economics, 2009