Reading these results made me wonder whether Utah was experiencing the same trend. As a state whose economy is touted as one of the top five in the nation, with job growth rates far exceeding national averages, could it be that Utah also has stronger labor market dynamics? Is Utah experiencing the same decline in hiring and separations as the nation, or is our strong economy a result of productive labor market matches?
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Surprisingly, Utah does NOT buck the national trend. Quarterly hires and separations rates in Utah mirror the nation with stepwise decreases occurring in recessionary periods. Instead of labeling our state as the exception (as we often have the luxury of doing) we are following the rule and therefore should ask the same questions Hyatt and Spletzer pose in their research.
- Is this a result of changing demographics, such as an aging workforce or differences in labor force participation between men and women?
- Could the trend perhaps be driven by changes in industry structure in our state?
- Should we rethink our theories on labor market dynamics? Maybe lower dynamics is a sign of high adjustment costs, worker uncertainty, the housing lock, or changes in the production process.