“On Friday, the government will release its monthly estimate of how many Americans are working and how many are looking for work. But another number in the report may have greater long-term significance: the declining share of the population that is doing either one.
As of September, the share of the adult population that either had a job or was trying to find one—a measure known as the labor-force participation rate—stood at 63.6%, close to a 30-year low. Other measures of job-market health, such as hiring and the unemployment rate, have shown slow but relatively steady improvement over the past two years. But labor force participation keeps falling.”
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