Host Steven Davis and guest Ayşegül Şahin explore the extraordinary behavior of US labor markets since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. They explain how the global crisis spurred remote work, instigated the "great resignation," drove job vacancy rates to all-time highs, restrained overall wage growth, and altered the structure of wages. Steve and Ayşegül also discuss how the recession and recovery since March 2020 really was different than earlier cyclical episodes, making it harder for the Fed and other policymakers to assess the state of the labor market. They also remark on how the rise of remote work presents new challenges and options for employers and workers, including the opportunity to expand labor-force participation among women with young children and people with physical impairments. It’s an episode packed with insights for economists, journalists, policymakers, and anyone curious about the post-pandemic job market.


Aysegul Sahin is one of the world’s foremost researchers at the intersection of macroeconomics and labor economics. She holds the Richard J. Gonzalez Regents Chair in Economics at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin. Before joining the UT faculty, she spent more than a decade at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and she continues to consult widely with researchers and policymakers in the Federal Reserve System. She is also the editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Steven J. Davis is the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He is a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, consultant to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, advisor to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, past editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, and an elected fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. He cofounded the Economic Policy Uncertainty project, the US Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes, the Global Survey of Working Arrangements, the Survey of Business Uncertainty, and the Stock Market Jumps project. He co-organizes the Asian Monetary Policy Forum, held annually in Singapore. Previously, Davis was on the faculty at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, serving as both distinguished service professor and deputy dean of the faculty.


· Ayşegül’s website

· “Job Amenity Shocks and Labor Reallocation” by Sadhika Bagga, Lukas Mann, Ayşegül Şahin, and Giovanni L. Violante.

· “The Evolution of Work from Home” by José María Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis.



Each episode of the video podcast series Economics, Applied features senior fellow Steven Davis in conversation with leaders and researchers about economic developments and their ramifications. The goal is to bring evidence and economic reasoning to the table, drawing lessons for individuals, organizations, and society. The podcast also aims to showcase the value of individual initiative, markets, the rule of law, and sound policy in fostering prosperity and security.

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