Lowest Participation Rate In The U.S. Work Force Since 1979
The unemployment rate is typically a good indication of the economy but it does not serve to guage the labor market’s long term health. Friday’s employment report of only 88,000 jobs being created in the month of March reflects how hard it still is to find a job, but neglects the percentage of Americans who aren’t even looking anymore. The participation rate of the work force dropped to 63.3% last month; the lowest level it has been since 1979. This decrease denotes nearly half a million Americans who have given up looking for work; what is troublesome about this statistic is approximetly half of these drop outs are under the age of 25.
The longer people stay out of work, the more difficult it is to re-enter the work force and those who do are generally forced to take jobs below their previous pay grade. There is cause for concern if the younger generation of Americans have been discouraged in finding work; the productivity for the economy in the future will directly correlate with their participation in the work force.
The Wall Street Journal