The labor participation rate is declining because of insufficient job growth. Why? Older Americans are working at a much higher rate than they used to. It's younger and middle-aged Americans who are not working at high enough rates.
Here's some data, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Employed Full Time Workers, 65+
Civilian Labor Force, 65+
The data concludes that there is an increase in those working in the 65+ group by 2.4 million. They aren't retiring -- they are still working. The population in this group grew 4.2 million.
Employed Full Time Workers, 55-to-64
Total Population, 55-to-64
Those working in the 55-to-64 group increased by 8 million, while their population increased by 16.4 million. We are aging and working longer.
Total Employed Full Time Workers, 25-to-54
Total Working Age Poluation, 25-to-54
The 25-to-54 age group lost 2.7 million jobs. Early Retirement? The population of this group grew by 3.9 million.
Total Employed Full Time Workers, 16-to-24
Total Working Age Population, 15-to-24
The working population in the 16-24 group declined by 2.3 million. Perhaps this is the generation that doesn't believe in working full time. Their population increased by 4.5 million.
Yes, the demographics are shifting. People are not retiring, but they often can't find work.
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