Labor force demographics, 2008
January 05, 2010
The overall labor force participation rate, the proportion of the population that is in the labor force, peaked at 67.1 percent in the late 1990s into 2000 and then began to trend down. The participation rate was 66.0 percent in 2008.
Among the major race and ethnicity groups, Hispanics continued to have the highest labor force participation rate (68.5 percent) in 2008, while the participation rate for blacks was the lowest (63.7 percent). The participation rates for whites (66.3 percent) and Asians (67.0 percent) were roughly midway between the rates for blacks and Hispanics, continuing a long-term pattern.
Compared with annual average data for 2007, the participation rates for whites and Hispanics were down slightly in 2008, while the rate for blacks held steady and the rate for Asians continued to trend up.
These data are from Current Population Survey. To learn more, see, "Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2008," Report 1020, November 2009.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor force demographics, 2008 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2010/ted_20100105.htm (visited March 27, 2015).
Three recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Trends in long-term unemployment
Long-term unemployment reached historically high levels following the recession of 2007–2009.
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.
Women veterans in the labor force examines the demographic, employment, and unemployment characteristics of women veterans.