Involuntary part-time employment reached unusually high levels during the last recession and declined only slowly afterward. The speed of the decline was limited because of a combination of two factors: the number of people working part-time due to slack business conditions was declining, and the number of those who could find only part-time work continued to increase until 2013. Involuntary part-time employment recently returned to its pre-recession level but remains slightly elevated relative to historically low unemployment, likely due to structural factors.
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Safe assets usually trade at a premium thanks to their high credit quality and deep liquidity. To understand the role of credit quality for such premia, we focus on Swiss Confederation bonds, which are extremely safe, but not particularly liquid. We therefore refer to their premia as safety premia and quantify them using an arbitrage-free term structure model that accounts for time-varying premia in individual bond prices. The estimation results show that Swiss safety premia are large and exhibit long-lasting trends. Furthermore, regression analysis suggests that they shifted upwards in a persistent manner following the launch of the euro and have been depressed in recent years by the asset purchases of the European Central Bank.