Reasons people give for not being in the labor force, 2004 and 2014
January 21, 2016
People who are neither working nor looking for work are counted as “not in the labor force.” The proportion of the civilian working-age population who were in this group increased from 31.3 percent in 2004 to 35.0 percent in 2014. Over that 10-year period, the proportion of people who reported retirement as the main reason they were not working increased from 13.9 percent to 15.4 percent.
|Reason for not participating in the labor force||2004||2014|
Illness or disability
Going to school
The proportion of the working-age population reporting school attendance as the main reason for being out of the labor force rose from 5.0 percent in 2004 to 6.4 percent in 2014. The percentage who cited illness or disability as the main reason increased from 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent over that same period. The proportion citing home responsibilities declined from 6.0 percent in 2004 to 5.4 percent in 2014.
These data are from the Current Population Survey and its Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). The data are limited to people who were not in the labor force at any time during the reference year and the reasons they gave for not working. For more information, see the Beyond the Numbers article “People who are not in the labor force: why aren't they working?,” by Steven F. Hipple.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Reasons people give for not being in the labor force, 2004 and 2014 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/reasons-people-give-for-not-being-in-the-labor-force-2004-and-2014.htm (visited August 12, 2020).
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