On This PageMarch 2012, No. 296

Explaining the Decline in the U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate
Last Updated: 02/01/12

The authors conclude that just under half of the post-1999 decline in the U.S. labor force participation rate, or LFPR (the proportion of the working-age population that is employed or unemployed and seeking work), can be explained by long-running demographic patterns, such as the retirement of baby boomers. These patterns are expected to continue, offsetting LFPR improvements due to economic recovery.