Australian Labour Market Flows over the Business Cycle
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This paper analyses the behaviour of Australian labour market transition rates. Since the early 1980s, the job-finding rate has been significantly more volatile than the job-loss rate and it is strongly pro-cyclical. The economic downturns of the early 1980s and early 1990s were associated with up to a 10 percentage points decline in the average job-finding rate. In comparison, the recent economic downturn was associated with a less significant decline in the job-finding rate. During these periods, the job-loss rate has shown less significant volatility. The findings of this paper suggest that the job search activities of workers are potentially more relevant in explaining the volatility of labour market variables such as the unemployment rate, and whether emerging skill shortages can be addressed. Policies that assist job search and the skills development of workers are important, as is the intensity of workers' search activity.