Employer reallocation during the COVID-19 pandemic: Validation and application of a do-it-yourself CPS

Alexander Bick, Adam Blandin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Economists have recently begun using independent online surveys to collect national labor market data. Questions remain over the quality of such data. This paper provides an approach to address these concerns. Our case study is the Real-Time Population Survey (RPS), a novel online survey of the US built around the Current Population Survey (CPS). The RPS replicates core components of the CPS, ensuring comparable measures that allow us to weight and rigorously validate our results using a high-quality benchmark. At the same time, special questions in the RPS yield novel information regarding employer reallocation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We estimate that 26% of pre-pandemic workers were working for a new employer one year into the COVID-19 outbreak in the US, at least double the rate of any previous episode in the past quarter century. Our discussion contains practical suggestions for the design of novel labor market surveys and highlights other promising applications of our methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReview of Economic Dynamics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Employer reallocation
  • Employer separations
  • Employment
  • Online survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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