Labor Force Participation Rates by Age and Sex, 2012

Labor Force Participation Rates by Age and Sex, 2012

Labor force participation still remains several percentage points below its pre-recession levels, indicating plenty of unused productive capacity among young adults.  For 25 to 34-year-olds the labor force participation rate held steady in February at 81.8 percent, higher than any time in 2011 but still below the average for 2010.  Younger workers, 20-24, saw a more dramatic change, with a boost in labor force participation to 71.7 percent, making up for the drop in January and restoring the age group’s participation to its rate at the end of 2011.  For both groups, women drive the trend, with men’s participation actually in decline.  

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