Labor Force Participation
Fact Sheet Prototype
- 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 https://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm and https://www.bls.gov/cps/eetech_intro.pdf for more detailed technical information
Civilian labor force participation rate, seasonally adjusted
|Data series||Back data||In percent|
|May 2014||Jun 2014||Jul 2014||Aug 2014||Sep 2014||Oct 2014|
Total, 16 years and over
|Race and Ethnicity|
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
16 to 24 years
25 to 34 years
35 to 44 years
45 to 54 years
55 years and over
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 https://www.bls.gov/cps/#data and https://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: https://www.bls.gov/lau/lalfprderr.xlsx). Additional subnational information can be found in the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program. See https://www.bls.gov/lau/#data for tools to access LAUS data.
Selected BLS publications on labor force participation rates
- U.S. military veterans and nonveterans in the labor force, 2013, The Editor’s Desk, 06/06/2014
- Participation rate, employment–population ratio, and unemployment rate in April 2014,The Editor’s Desk, 05/06/2014
- Women in the Labor Force: A Databook, 2013, May, 2014 (PDF)
- Labor force projections to 2022: the labor force participation rate continues to fall, Monthly Labor Review, 12/19/2013
- Foreign-born workers in the U.S. labor force, Spotlight on Statistics, July 2013
- International Labor Comparisons, Spotlight on Statistics, May 2013
- National Hispanic Heritage Month, Spotlight on Statistics, September 2012
- A behavioral model for projecting the labor force participation rate, Monthly Labor Review, 05/01/2011 (PDF)
- Net flows in the U.S. labor market, 1990-2010, Monthly Labor Review, 02/01/2011 (PDF)
- Trends in labor force flows during recent recessions, Monthly Labor Review, 04/01/2009 (PDF)
- Comparative civilian labor force statistics, 10 countries: a visual essay, Monthly Labor Review, 12/01/2007
- Trends in labor force participation of married mothers of infants, Monthly Labor Review, February 2007 (PDF)
- Trends in labor force participation in the United States, Monthly Labor Review October 2006 (PDF)
- The labor force and unemployment: three generations of change, Monthly Labor Review June 2004 (PDF)
- Labor force participation during recent labor market downturns, Monthly Labor Review September 2003 (PDF)
- The labor force experience of women from ‘Generation X’, Monthly Labor Review March 2002 (PDF)
- Who was affected as the economy started to slow, Monthly Labor Review November 2001 (PDF)
- Looking for a ‘better’ job: job-search activity of the employed, Monthly Labor Review September 2000 (PDF)
- Labor supply in a tight labor market, Monthly Labor Review June 2000 (PDF)
For more information, contact the CPS help desk.
Last Modified Date: July 28, 2017