The paper considers age-sex patterns of fluctuation of employment, unemployment, labour force participation, hours worked per employee, and hours worked per capita. The patterns are extracted (by regression) from annual data for the period 1976-2011 and expressed in the form of group-to-aggregate elasticities. An additive relationship among the elasticities is noted and used to decompose the variation of per capita hours worked into source contributions. On that basis, participation and employee hours are found to be significant contributors generally over the working age range, but especially among young workers. The results suggest a considerable amount of "hidden" unemployment during cyclical downturns.
cyclical labour force behaviour age-sex unemployment and employment rates hidden unemployment