The authors use a panel design that exploits the considerable state-level variation in volatility during the period. The roles of monetary policy, oil prices, industrial employment shifts and a coincident index of business cycle variables are explored. Overall, these four variables taken together explain as much as 31 percent of the fluctuations in employment growth volatility. Individually, each of the four factors is found to have significantly contributed to fluctuations in employment growth volatility, although to differing degrees.