The formula for the labor force participation rate is simple: labor force (unemployed + employed) / adult population, excluding people in the military or prison for
The formula for the labor force participation rate is simple: labor force (unemployed + employed) / adult population, excluding people in the military or prison for both.
The total labor force participation rate has grown significantly in the United States since the 1950s. But the total growth doesn’t paint a clear picture of how the U.S. workforce has changed, particularly the makeup.
There are several big factors at play influencing the demographics of labor force participation. For starters, women have entered the labor force in greater numbers since the 1950s. At the same time, technology has altered the types of work available. Manufacturing jobs, which tended to employ lower-skilled, less-educated male workers, gave way to more service jobs requiring more skills and education.
In more recent years, the labor force participation rate, though still much higher than it was half a century ago, has been declining.
There are a number of factors influencing the decline. Many more women are working, but fewer men are employed or actively looking for a job. The United States also has an aging population with many Baby Boomers retiring from the labor force.
In an upcoming video, we’ll take a look at one of the big reasons behind why women have been able to enter and stay in the labor force during peak childbearing years: The Pill.
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In the structural unemployment list of causes I believe a very potent example of how effective unemployment benefits are at keeping people out of the work force, is data which shows low long people wait before getting the job and the length of time the benefit lasts.
Is that available from the FRED data?