RECOVERY: U.S. Workforce-Participation Rate At 35-Year Low

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Work-Force Participaton Rate

Participation rate in labor force matches 35-year low (MarketWatch, Jan 10, 2014):


The economy gained a meager 74,000 jobs last month, the weakest result since early 2011, according to government data released Friday morning.

Also not good: The participation rate in the labor force declined one-fifth of a percentage point to 62.8% in December, matching October’s level, which was the lowest since 1978.

The participation rate is a broad gauge of the labor-market health, showing the workforce’s share of the civilian noninstitutional population. Falling rates means that people are increasingly less likely be in the labor force — not a great sign of economic strength or confidence.

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