The labor force is
the number of people aged 16 or older who are either working or looking
for work. The labor force does not include active-duty military
personnel or institutionalized workers, such as prison inmates.
The size of the labor force depends on two factors. The first factor
is the size of the total population, which is determined by rates of
birth, immigration, and death. The second factor is the labor force
participation rate, which is the percent of the population that is
working or is actively seeking employment.
These measures vary significantly by sex and by age, racial, and
ethnic groups. Each group has varying birth and immigration rates, age
distributions, and labor-force participation rates, and these variations
change the composition of the labor force over time.
The charts show how the labor force is projected to change among age
groups, among men and women, among racial groups—Asians, blacks,
whites, and others—and among ethnic groups—Hispanics and
non-Hispanics of any race. These are the categories used by the U.S.
Census Bureau, which produces the demographic data on which BLS
projections are based.
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