The Labor Force Participation Rate has fallen and it can’t get up.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this week that 90,609,000 Americans who are 16 or older are neither working nor looking for work. Only 63.2% of Americans are working or looking for work. Anyone who is unemployed who has looked for a job in the past four weeks is counted as participating in the labor force.
The Labor Force Participation Rate peaked at 67.3% in 2000 and it hovered around 66% in 2007 and 2008, when the financial crisis began. Now, after five years of stimulus spending and quantitative easing, it has dropped about 3%. In July, the number of nonparticipants climbed by more than half a million.