Current Issues in Economics and Finance

Explaining the Recent Divergence in Payroll and Household Employment Growth

December 1999Volume 5, Number 16
JEL classification: J21, E22

Authors: Chinhui Juhn and Simon Potter

Each month, the government releases two estimates of U.S. employment growth—one based on a survey of firms, the other on a survey of households. Since 1994, these measures have diverged sharply. Evidence suggests that the household survey’s estimate has risen more slowly because it undercounts working-age adults who have found employment during the current economic expansion.

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