Atlanta Fed Conference Explores Job Losses and the Recession

Two distinguishing features of the 2007–09 recession—the depth and duration of job losses—have endured even as the economy has begun to slowly recover. "Employment and the Business Cycle," the inaugural conference of the Atlanta Fed's Center for Human Capital Studies (CHCS), explored these topics and more.

The November 11–12, 2010, conference featured presentations by Robert E. Hall of Stanford University and former Assistant Treasury Secretary Alan Krueger of Princeton University. Atlanta Fed President and CEO Dennis Lockhart presented the keynote address, during which he discussed some anecdotal information about the economy that he has received from the Atlanta Fed's southeastern business contacts. He noted that one of the various reasons businesses are not rapidly hiring is uncertainty over government policies, including the recent healthcare law and the fate of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Participants explored the factors behind lingering joblessness and the effects of extended unemployment insurance on various aspects of the labor market, such as labor supply and job quality, as well as what the jobs landscape may look like in the near future.

To learn more about the employment effects of the recent recession, visit the conference web page, which features links to several of the papers that were presented; or listen to the podcast of Lockhart's keynote speech, "Business Feedback on Today's Labor Market."