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Labor force participation rate for people ages 25 to 54 in May 2023 highest since January 2007

June 07, 2023

The labor force participation rate for people age 16 and older was 62.6 percent in May 2023. That was 0.7 percentage point below its February 2020 level, before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The labor force participation rate for people ages 25 to 54 has returned to its pre-pandemic level. The rate was 83.4 percent in May 2023. The last time it was this high was January 2007. The labor force participation rate for women ages 25 to 54 was 77.6 percent in May 2023, 0.6 percentage point above what it was in February 2020. This group’s recovery comes after worries of lower labor force participation for women as they cared for children home from school during the pandemic or other relatives. Among men ages 25 to 54, the labor force participation rate was 89.1 percent in May 2023, having returned to its pre-pandemic level in April 2023.

Labor force participation rates by age and sex, seasonally adjusted, January 2007 to May 2023
Month 16 and older 16 to 24 Total, 25 to 54 Women, 25 to 54 Men, 25 to 54 55 and older

Jan 2007

66.4 60.7 83.4 75.6 91.5 38.0

Feb 2007

66.3 60.2 83.2 75.3 91.4 38.3

Mar 2007

66.2 60.0 83.2 75.3 91.2 38.5

Apr 2007

65.9 59.2 83.0 75.0 91.1 38.2

May 2007

66.0 58.7 83.0 75.3 90.9 38.6

Jun 2007

66.0 59.6 82.9 75.3 90.7 38.7

Jul 2007

66.0 59.0 82.9 75.4 90.6 38.9

Aug 2007

65.8 58.2 82.9 75.5 90.5 38.8

Sep 2007

66.0 59.5 82.8 75.4 90.4 38.9

Oct 2007

65.8 59.2 82.7 75.3 90.3 38.7

Nov 2007

66.0 59.6 82.9 75.5 90.6 38.9

Dec 2007

66.0 59.2 83.1 75.5 90.9 38.9

Jan 2008

66.2 59.5 83.3 75.7 91.1 39.1

Feb 2008

66.0 58.3 83.2 75.5 91.0 39.2

Mar 2008

66.1 58.4 83.3 75.8 90.9 39.3

Apr 2008

65.9 58.8 83.1 75.8 90.6 39.0

May 2008

66.1 59.9 83.1 75.9 90.5 39.0

Jun 2008

66.1 59.2 83.1 76.0 90.5 39.2

Jul 2008

66.1 59.1 83.1 75.7 90.7 39.5

Aug 2008

66.1 58.8 83.2 76.0 90.5 39.7

Sep 2008

66.0 58.8 83.1 75.8 90.5 39.5

Oct 2008

66.0 58.6 83.0 75.8 90.4 39.9

Nov 2008

65.9 57.9 83.0 75.9 90.3 39.9

Dec 2008

65.8 58.2 82.8 75.9 89.9 40.0

Jan 2009

65.7 57.4 82.8 75.8 90.0 40.0

Feb 2009

65.8 58.1 82.8 76.0 89.8 39.9

Mar 2009

65.6 57.7 82.6 75.7 89.7 39.9

Apr 2009

65.7 57.9 82.8 75.9 89.9 39.8

May 2009

65.7 57.5 82.9 75.8 90.1 40.2

Jun 2009

65.7 57.5 82.9 75.9 90.0 40.1

Jul 2009

65.5 57.2 82.8 75.8 89.8 40.0

Aug 2009

65.4 56.7 82.8 75.6 90.1 40.0

Sep 2009

65.1 56.1 82.5 75.3 89.8 39.9

Oct 2009

65.0 55.4 82.5 75.3 89.8 39.9

Nov 2009

65.0 55.6 82.4 75.4 89.6 40.0

Dec 2009

64.6 55.3 82.0 75.2 88.9 39.9

Jan 2010

64.8 54.9 82.4 75.6 89.2 40.0

Feb 2010

64.9 55.2 82.3 75.5 89.2 40.1

Mar 2010

64.9 55.3 82.4 75.5 89.5 40.2

Apr 2010

65.2 55.9 82.6 75.6 89.7 40.3

May 2010

64.9 55.5 82.3 75.2 89.5 40.4

Jun 2010

64.6 54.7 82.2 75.1 89.5 40.3

Jul 2010

64.6 55.1 81.9 74.8 89.2 40.4

Aug 2010

64.7 55.5 82.0 74.9 89.3 40.5

Sep 2010

64.6 54.8 82.0 74.9 89.3 40.4

Oct 2010

64.4 55.2 81.8 74.9 88.9 40.0

Nov 2010

64.6 55.4 82.0 75.3 88.9 40.1

Dec 2010

64.3 54.7 81.9 75.2 88.6 40.2

Jan 2011

64.2 55.3 81.7 74.9 88.6 39.9

Feb 2011

64.1 54.9 81.6 74.7 88.7 40.0

Mar 2011

64.2 55.1 81.7 74.9 88.8 40.0

Apr 2011

64.2 54.8 81.7 74.9 88.7 40.2

May 2011

64.1 54.5 81.7 74.6 89.0 40.2

Jun 2011

64.0 54.4 81.7 74.6 88.9 40.2

Jul 2011

64.0 54.2 81.4 74.5 88.6 40.2

Aug 2011

64.1 55.1 81.6 74.7 88.7 40.3

Sep 2011

64.2 55.3 81.5 74.6 88.6 40.6

Oct 2011

64.1 55.6 81.3 74.4 88.4 40.6

Nov 2011

64.1 55.4 81.5 74.4 88.7 40.4

Dec 2011

64.0 55.2 81.6 74.6 88.7 40.3

Jan 2012

63.7 54.6 81.5 74.5 88.8 40.1

Feb 2012

63.8 54.9 81.5 74.5 88.7 40.4

Mar 2012

63.8 54.7 81.5 74.5 88.9 40.4

Apr 2012

63.7 54.7 81.4 74.4 88.7 40.3

May 2012

63.7 54.8 81.4 74.5 88.6 40.5

Jun 2012

63.8 55.0 81.5 74.4 88.9 40.6

Jul 2012

63.7 55.1 81.4 74.5 88.6 40.2

Aug 2012

63.5 54.3 81.4 74.5 88.6 40.4

Sep 2012

63.6 54.7 81.5 74.6 88.6 40.4

Oct 2012

63.8 55.2 81.6 74.7 88.8 40.7

Nov 2012

63.6 55.3 81.2 74.3 88.4 40.7

Dec 2012

63.7 55.2 81.4 74.6 88.6 40.7

Jan 2013

63.7 55.6 81.1 74.0 88.4 40.7

Feb 2013

63.4 55.0 81.0 73.9 88.5 40.6

Mar 2013

63.3 54.3 81.0 73.9 88.3 40.5

Apr 2013

63.4 55.2 81.0 73.7 88.6 40.4

May 2013

63.4 54.9 81.2 74.0 88.6 40.5

Jun 2013

63.4 55.4 81.2 74.0 88.6 40.5

Jul 2013

63.3 55.1 81.2 74.1 88.5 40.2

Aug 2013

63.3 54.9 81.0 74.0 88.3 40.4

Sep 2013

63.2 55.6 81.0 73.9 88.4 40.1

Oct 2013

62.8 54.8 80.6 73.5 88.0 40.1

Nov 2013

63.0 54.8 81.0 73.8 88.6 39.9

Dec 2013

62.9 54.7 80.8 73.8 88.1 39.9

Jan 2014

62.9 54.5 80.9 73.9 88.2 39.9

Feb 2014

62.9 54.1 81.1 74.3 88.1 40.0

Mar 2014

63.1 55.5 81.1 74.2 88.3 39.9

Apr 2014

62.8 54.5 80.8 74.0 87.9 39.9

May 2014

62.9 54.9 80.7 73.8 88.0 40.1

Jun 2014

62.8 54.6 81.0 74.0 88.3 39.9

Jul 2014

62.9 55.3 80.8 73.7 88.3 40.0

Aug 2014

62.9 54.6 81.1 74.0 88.5 39.9

Sep 2014

62.8 55.2 80.8 73.7 88.1 39.9

Oct 2014

62.9 56.1 80.9 73.9 88.1 40.0

Nov 2014

62.9 55.7 80.9 73.9 88.1 40.1

Dec 2014

62.8 55.0 80.9 73.8 88.2 39.9

Jan 2015

62.9 55.0 81.0 73.8 88.5 40.1

Feb 2015

62.7 55.2 80.9 73.6 88.4 39.7

Mar 2015

62.6 54.7 80.8 73.4 88.5 39.9

Apr 2015

62.8 54.5 81.0 73.8 88.4 40.1

May 2015

62.9 55.6 81.1 74.1 88.3 40.0

Jun 2015

62.7 55.0 80.9 73.8 88.3 39.9

Jul 2015

62.6 54.9 80.7 73.5 88.1 40.0

Aug 2015

62.6 55.2 80.7 73.5 88.2 39.8

Sep 2015

62.4 54.5 80.6 73.3 88.2 39.7

Oct 2015

62.5 55.0 80.8 73.6 88.2 39.9

Nov 2015

62.5 54.9 80.9 73.9 88.1 39.9

Dec 2015

62.7 55.7 80.9 73.9 88.2 39.9

Jan 2016

62.7 54.7 81.1 74.0 88.4 40.1

Feb 2016

62.8 55.2 81.1 74.0 88.4 40.2

Mar 2016

63.0 55.3 81.3 74.2 88.7 40.2

Apr 2016

62.9 55.2 81.2 74.2 88.6 40.2

May 2016

62.7 55.2 81.2 74.2 88.4 39.8

Jun 2016

62.7 54.8 81.3 74.2 88.7 40.0

Jul 2016

62.8 54.9 81.3 74.2 88.5 40.2

Aug 2016

62.9 55.8 81.4 74.4 88.5 39.9

Sep 2016

62.9 55.1 81.5 74.7 88.6 40.0

Oct 2016

62.8 54.9 81.5 74.7 88.6 40.0

Nov 2016

62.7 55.3 81.4 74.4 88.5 39.9

Dec 2016

62.7 55.5 81.3 74.4 88.5 39.7

Jan 2017

62.8 55.5 81.5 74.4 88.8 40.0

Feb 2017

62.9 55.7 81.6 74.8 88.6 40.0

Mar 2017

62.9 55.7 81.6 74.9 88.5 40.1

Apr 2017

63.0 55.8 81.7 75.1 88.6 40.0

May 2017

62.8 55.3 81.7 75.1 88.5 40.0

Jun 2017

62.8 55.3 81.6 75.0 88.6 40.0

Jul 2017

62.9 55.4 81.8 75.2 88.6 40.0

Aug 2017

62.9 55.8 81.6 75.0 88.4 40.0

Sep 2017

63.1 56.0 81.9 75.3 88.7 40.1

Oct 2017

62.7 55.2 81.6 74.8 88.6 39.9

Nov 2017

62.7 54.9 81.7 75.2 88.5 39.9

Dec 2017

62.7 54.7 81.8 74.9 89.0 39.8

Jan 2018

62.7 55.9 81.7 74.7 89.0 39.5

Feb 2018

63.0 56.1 82.1 75.2 89.2 39.8

Mar 2018

62.9 55.9 82.0 75.0 89.2 39.8

Apr 2018

62.9 55.3 82.0 74.9 89.3 40.0

May 2018

62.9 55.2 81.9 75.0 89.1 40.2

Jun 2018

63.0 55.5 82.1 75.4 89.0 40.1

Jul 2018

63.0 55.4 82.1 75.6 88.9 40.1

Aug 2018

62.6 53.8 81.9 75.3 88.7 40.2

Sep 2018

62.8 54.9 81.9 75.3 88.7 40.1

Oct 2018

62.9 54.7 82.3 75.7 89.0 40.0

Nov 2018

62.9 54.8 82.2 75.7 88.9 40.2

Dec 2018

63.0 55.3 82.3 75.8 88.9 40.2

Jan 2019

63.1 55.7 82.5 75.8 89.4 40.2

Feb 2019

63.1 55.5 82.5 75.8 89.3 40.4

Mar 2019

63.0 55.8 82.5 75.5 89.6 40.0

Apr 2019

62.9 55.3 82.3 75.5 89.2 40.0

May 2019

62.9 56.1 82.2 75.6 88.9 39.9

Jun 2019

63.0 56.1 82.2 75.9 88.8 40.0

Jul 2019

63.1 56.5 82.1 75.4 88.9 40.5

Aug 2019

63.1 55.7 82.5 76.2 89.0 40.4

Sep 2019

63.2 55.9 82.7 76.4 89.1 40.3

Oct 2019

63.3 56.1 82.8 76.7 89.0 40.3

Nov 2019

63.3 55.7 82.8 76.6 89.2 40.4

Dec 2019

63.3 55.8 82.9 76.9 89.1 40.3

Jan 2020

63.3 56.7 83.1 76.9 89.4 40.2

Feb 2020

63.3 57.0 83.0 77.0 89.2 40.3

Mar 2020

62.6 54.8 82.5 76.1 89.1 39.6

Apr 2020

60.1 49.2 79.9 73.5 86.4 38.6

May 2020

60.8 51.6 80.6 74.2 87.2 38.5

Jun 2020

61.5 52.4 81.5 75.3 87.8 39.0

Jul 2020

61.5 52.7 81.2 75.1 87.6 39.3

Aug 2020

61.7 53.2 81.3 74.9 88.0 39.5

Sep 2020

61.4 54.4 80.9 74.4 87.6 38.9

Oct 2020

61.7 55.4 81.2 74.8 87.8 38.7

Nov 2020

61.5 55.1 80.9 74.6 87.4 38.8

Dec 2020

61.5 55.3 81.0 74.8 87.4 38.6

Jan 2021

61.3 55.0 81.1 74.7 87.6 38.2

Feb 2021

61.4 55.3 81.2 75.0 87.6 38.2

Mar 2021

61.5 55.2 81.3 75.2 87.6 38.2

Apr 2021

61.6 55.7 81.4 75.1 87.8 38.4

May 2021

61.5 55.5 81.3 75.0 87.9 38.4

Jun 2021

61.7 55.2 81.7 75.4 88.1 38.4

Jul 2021

61.8 55.3 81.9 75.5 88.3 38.4

Aug 2021

61.7 55.1 81.7 75.3 88.3 38.6

Sep 2021

61.7 55.5 81.6 75.2 88.1 38.6

Oct 2021

61.8 55.9 81.7 75.4 88.1 38.4

Nov 2021

61.9 56.2 81.9 75.7 88.2 38.4

Dec 2021

62.0 56.1 81.9 75.9 88.0 38.5

Jan 2022

62.2 55.6 82.1 76.0 88.2 39.1

Feb 2022

62.2 55.6 82.3 75.9 88.8 39.1

Mar 2022

62.4 55.9 82.5 76.5 88.6 38.9

Apr 2022

62.2 55.2 82.5 76.3 88.7 38.7

May 2022

62.3 55.4 82.6 76.6 88.7 38.9

Jun 2022

62.2 55.7 82.4 76.4 88.4 38.6

Jul 2022

62.1 55.3 82.4 76.4 88.5 38.7

Aug 2022

62.3 55.6 82.8 77.1 88.6 38.6

Sep 2022

62.3 55.4 82.6 76.6 88.7 38.8

Oct 2022

62.2 55.5 82.5 76.5 88.5 38.9

Nov 2022

62.2 55.8 82.3 76.3 88.4 38.6

Dec 2022

62.3 55.9 82.4 76.4 88.5 38.8

Jan 2023

62.4 56.5 82.7 76.9 88.5 38.7

Feb 2023

62.5 57.0 83.1 77.2 88.9 38.4

Mar 2023

62.6 56.9 83.1 77.1 89.1 38.6

Apr 2023

62.6 56.1 83.3 77.5 89.2 38.4

May 2023

62.6 56.3 83.4 77.6 89.1 38.4

People age 55 and older had a labor force participation rate of 38.4 percent in May 2023, down 1.9 percentage points from February 2020 (40.3 percent). Their participation rate remained around 40 percent for several years before the pandemic and had not been below 39.0 percent since 2007. People age 55 and older represent a growing share of the population. They comprised 37 percent of the population in 2022, compared with 30 percent in 2007. Much of this growth comes from people age 65 and older, whose population expanded 57 percent since 2007, faster than the 30-percent increase for people ages 55 to 64.

The labor force participation rate for people ages 16 to 24 returned to its pre-pandemic level in February 2023.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are seasonally adjusted. For more information, see “The Employment Situation — May 2023.” We also have more charts on the labor force, employment, and unemployment.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor force participation rate for people ages 25 to 54 in May 2023 highest since January 2007 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/labor-force-participation-rate-for-people-ages-25-to-54-in-may-2023-highest-since-january-2007.htm (visited May 19, 2024).

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