Labor Force Participation

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The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the noninstitutional, civilian population 16 years and older that are working or looking for work. It represents the amount of labor resources available for the production of goods and services. It can provide a better perspective on the health of an economy than the unemployment rate because it captures those individuals who gave up looking for a job and unwillingly dropped out of the labor force. The prime working age labor force participation rate is the percentage of individuals 25-54 years that are working or actively looking for work. They are considered to be in their prime working years. We would not expect the prime working age labor force participation rate to be 100 percent, however, because some individuals have a disability, are caring for family members, or are attending school.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates