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 and 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 seriesBack dataIn percent
May 2014Jun 2014Jul 2014Aug 2014Sep 2014Oct 2014

Total, 16 years and over

Historical Data


Historical Data


Historical Data
Race and Ethnicity


Historical Data

Black or African American

Historical Data

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Historical Data

16 to 24 years

Historical Data

25 to 34 years

Historical Data

35 to 44 years

Historical Data

45 to 54 years

Historical Data

55 years and over

Historical Data

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 and 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:  Additional subnational information can be found in the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program.  See 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