This paper documents three stylized facts for the quarterly unemployment rate in the United States. Firstly, unemployment is asymmetric over the business cycle, i.e. it rises sharply in recessions and it falls slowly in expansions. Secondly, its seasonal fluctuations are not constant across the two business cycle stages in the sense that there is less seasonality in recession periods. Thirdly, the effect of shocks to the unemployment rate in expansions seem transitory, while this effect is permanent in recessions. Some implications of these stylized facts for empirical macroeconomics and seasonal adjustment are discussed.

USA, business cycles, seasonality, unemployment rates
Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions (jel C22), Employment; Unemployment; Wages (jel E24)
dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01206066, hdl.handle.net/1765/2091
Empirical Economics: a quarterly journal of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna
Erasmus School of Economics

Franses, Ph.H.B.F. (1995). Quarterly U.S. unemployment: cycles, seasons and asymmetries. Empirical Economics: a quarterly journal of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, 20(4), 717–725. doi:10.1007/BF01206066