Labor Market Outcomes across Industries Are Informative about the State of the Business Cycle
Furthering a business cycle dating exercise on Liberty Street Economics, economists Crump, Giannone, and Lucca investigate whether cross-sectional information can refine the signal from the labor market, using private payroll data from the Establishment Survey. In calculating the share of industries in contraction, they find the most informative sector for business cycle fluctuations to be “other services” (such as repair and maintenance services), followed by the wholesale and retail trade sectors. In contrast, the manufacturing sector experiences frequent and persistent cycles that are not associated with aggregate economic fluctuations.
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics; authors’ calculations.

Notes: This chart presents cross-section and time series of turning points based on seventy-seven industry payrolls, organized by NAICS category. The top panel shows the percentage of series in contraction at each point in time as judged by the Bry-Boschan (BB) algorithm. The gold line shows the percentage of series in contraction using real-time data. The bottom panel shows the periods for which each series is judged to be in expansion (white) or contraction (red) based on the BB algorithm. Gray-shaded regions indicate periods designated as in recession by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

See also business cycle dating charts using a large set of macroeconomic variables and state unemployment data.