Labor Force Participation rate not very promising

Labor Force Participation shows that over 95 million are not in the labor force

Labor Force Participation - 10 year history
Labor Force Participation – 10 year history

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the civilian non-institutional population 16 years and older that is working or actively looking for work. Since 2008 the participation rate has plummeted. Some of the drivers of that fall are

  • Baby Boomers – The movement of the baby-boom population into age groups that generally exhibit low participation.
  • Teenagers – Teenagers experienced the largest drop in participation, which coincided with a rise in their school enrollment rate.
  • Young Adults – Young adults 20 to 24 years also showed a decline in labor force participation, but the decrease was not as steep as that for teenagers.
  • Working Age Women – The labor force participation rate of women 25 to 54 years also fell, with the decrease more pronounced for women who did not attend college.
  • Working Age Men – The labor force participation rate of men 25 to 54 years continued its long-term decline. As in the past, the decrease in participation among men with less education was greater than that of men with more education.

On the plus side, labor force participation rates of men and women 55 years and older rose from 2000 to 2009 and has subsequently leveled off.

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Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.