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Women Are Driving the Recent Recovery in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation
The labor force participation rate of prime-age individuals (age 25 to 54) in the United States declined dramatically during and after the Great Recession. While the rate remains below its pre-recession level, it has been increasing steadily since 2015. We examine how different demographic groups have contributed to this rebound and find that college-educated women have made the largest contribution to the recent recovery in the prime-age labor force participation rate.
Understanding the Relationship between Real Wage Growth and Labor Market Conditions
The authors find that the share of the labor force that is medium-term unemployed (five to 26 weeks unemployed) and the share working part time (less than 35 hours per week) involuntarily are strongly correlated with real wage growth. Moreover, they estimate that average real wage growth would have been between one-half of a percentage point and a full percentage point higher in June 2014 if 2005?07 labor market conditions had been restored, indicating that the slack in the jobs market still weighs heavily on the real wage prospects of U.S. workers.
The Changing Cyclicality of Labor Force Participation
The labor force participation rate has become more sensitive to the business cycle.
Female Labor Supply and Why Women Need to Be Included in Economic Models
Women contribute a large fraction of aggregate labor hours, earnings, and labor force participation. Yet, many models used to study the effects of government policy ignore gender differences and use data on men only. These models are used extensively for examining the effects of government policies and programs?including Social Security, taxation, and welfare programs. Before evaluating how people respond to such policies, it is important to construct a reliable model of how people behave and why.
A New Estimate of the Natural Rate of Unemployment
The author presented a new estimate of the natural (or trend) rate of unemployment that accounts for changes in the age, sex, and skill composition of the labor force. Based on this new estimate, the natural rate of unemployment has declined by 0.4 percentage point since 1994 and is currently 4.6 percent. Ongoing demographic and technological changes could lower the trend rate further to 4.4 percent by the end of 2022.
What is Behind the Recent Increase in Labor Force Participation?
Didem Tzemen and Jonathan L. Willis find that the recent increase in labor force participation is due not to more workers entering the labor force, but to fewer workers exiting it.