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April 1995

Using gross flows to explore movement in the labor force

Anthony J. Barkume, Francis W. Horvath

Despite limitations, gross flows statistics contain a considerable amount of information that is useful for analyzing short-term labor force developments. This article demonstrates a very high correlation between net changes in the published Current Population Survey labor force statistics and net changes in labor force stocks implied by gross flows statistics. The gross flow statistics are used to address the question of whether a greater influx of jobseekers from outside the labor force or reduced exits from the labor force explain occasions when both labor force participation and unemployment rise.

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