Labor Force Participation

Fact Sheet Prototype

Basic concepts

  • The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population that is either employed or unemployed (that is, either working or actively seeking work)
  • People with jobs are employed.
  • People who are jobless, looking for a job, and available for work are unemployed.
  • The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed.
  • People who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force.
  • See http://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm and http://www.bls.gov/cps/eetech_intro.pdf for more detailed technical information

Civilian labor force participation rate, seasonally adjusted

Civilian labor force participation rate, seasonally adjusted

View chart data

Civilian labor force participation rates for selected demographics, seasonally adjusted, May 2014–October 2014
Data series Back data In percent
May 2014 Jun 2014 Jul 2014 Aug 2014 Sep 2014 Oct 2014

Total, 16 years and over

Historical Data
62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.8
Sex

Men

Historical Data
69.1 69.2 69.3 69.2 69.1 69.1

Women

Historical Data
57.0 56.8 56.9 56.9 56.7 57.0
Race and Ethnicity

White

Historical Data
63.1 63.1 63.1 63.0 62.8 62.9

Black or African American

Historical Data
60.8 61.0 61.7 61.0 61.7 61.4

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Historical Data
65.6 66.3 65.9 66.0 65.9 66.3
Age

16 to 24 years

Historical Data
55.0 54.7 55.2 54.5 54.9 55.9

25 to 34 years

Historical Data
80.7 81.1 80.9 81.4 80.9 81.2

35 to 44 years

Historical Data
82.1 82.0 81.9 82.1 82.0 82.0

45 to 54 years

Historical Data
79.6 79.6 79.6 79.8 79.3 79.4

55 years and over

Historical Data
40.0 40.0 40.1 40.0 39.9 40.0

NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

Resources for further exploration

The data in the table above are from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which has much more information on the labor force status of the population at the national level.  See http://www.bls.gov/cps/#data and http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsflowstab.htm for a variety of tools to access CPS data.

Information on the labor force status of the population at the division and state level can be found here:  http://www.bls.gov/lau/lalfprderr.xlsx).  Additional subnational information can be found in the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program.  See http://www.bls.gov/lau/#data for tools to access LAUS data.

Other BLS data sets that can be analyzed to gain a deeper understanding of labor force participation include the National Longitudinal Surveys and the American Time Use Survey.

Selected BLS publications on labor force participation rates

For more information, contact the CPS help desk.

 

 

Last Modified Date: November 12, 2014