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Much comparative research has addressed labor markets’ responses during the current crisis. The German “employment miracle” (little employment adjustment) and, more generally, strategies of internal flexibility aiming at containing job losses (labor hoarding) have been analyzed in the light of both national labor markets’ patterns (using econometric specifications) and public policies implemented during the crisis. Much of this research shows the need for a wide range of employment adjustment mechanisms. In this paper, we use standard econometric specifications of employment and present a rather new and comprehensive comparative reading of macro-sectoral developments and adjustments of employment in eight industrialized countries over a period ending in 2011. We investigate differences across countries in labor market performances during the crisis but also cross-industry performances. Furthermore, this approach allows us to better identify employment dynamics which diverge from their structural trends as well as their main determinants. This approach also gives a more comprehensive picture of challenges currently facing most industrialized countries with respect to employment. The article concludes on the policy response and trade-offs in the context of a crisis.

Christel Gilles
Jean-Paul Nicolai
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