Staff Reports
Job Search Behavior over the Business Cycle
August 2014 Number 689
JEL classification: E24, E32, J22, J64

Authors: Toshihiko Mukoyama, Christina Patterson, and Ayşegül Şahin

We create a novel measure of job search effort starting in 1994 by exploiting the overlap between the Current Population Survey and the American Time Use Survey. We examine the cyclical behavior of aggregate job search effort using time series and cross-state variation and find that it is countercyclical. About half of the countercyclical movement is explained by a cyclical shift in the observable characteristics of the unemployed. Individual responses to labor market conditions and drops in wealth are important in explaining the remaining variation.

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