Graph of the Week 4/9/12: Labor Force Participation Rate
The Graph of the Week is theLabor Force Participation Rate, the percentage of the those 16 years or older who are either working or looking for work. The graph shows the period since January 2000, along with it's plotted trend rate. There has been a downward trend since the millennium, but we have lately fallen below the trend rate.
A good deal of the long-term trend is demographic in nature. Now that the first part of the Baby Boom is reaching retirement age odds are this trend will continue. People dropping out of the labor force will give downward momentum to the unemployment rate, even while job creation stays low. While working on this over the weekend, I noticed that Greg Mankiw was looking at something similar.
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