The Non-Accelerating Infection Rate of Unemployment as an alternative to the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment for the period of the COVID-19 pandemic: The example of the industries of the Czech Republic
Keywords:Phillips curve, NAIRU, NARRU, economic cycle, differencies in unemployment accross sectors, Covid-19
The objective of this paper is to use a meso-level empirical analysis to confirm the usefulness of the concepts of the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU) and the Non-Accelerating Infection Rate of Unemployment (NARRU). The atypically negative values are consistent with the findings in an economy in transition and during a global financial and economic recession. A higher value of NARRU than NAIRU signals that the intensity of the government's counter-pandemic measures is inadequate to match the depth of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the labour market. The lower value of the positive gap between unemployment for the NAIRU concept versus that of NARRU implies that the impact of counter-pandemic measures on the labour market was smaller than that required by the pandemic burden on society. The government of the Czech Republic should have implemented a stricter lockdown or ensured a sufficient supply of respirator masks. Localised negative Phillips curve (PC) slopes at the meso level confirm the suitability of applying the NAIRU and NARRU concepts during the period of COVID-19. Ad hoc analysis and regression estimation of PC shifts on a rolling basis and a Break model in the last period analysed (April 2021 to March 2022) found that the PC in the first phase (April to August 2021) and in the fourth phase (February to March 2022) typically had a negative slope in both concepts. In the second phase (September and October 2021) and third phase (November 2021 to January 2022), the analysis located a PC with an atypically positive slope, which is related to fluctuations associated with the pandemic and measures against it.