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Prime Age Participation Rate

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by Calculated Risk on 9/21/2021 03:22:00 PM

Here is an initial look at the prime age (25 to 54) participation rate.

The first graph shows the prime age participation rate since 1948.

Click on graph for larger image.

There are two clear long term trends:

1. The participation rate for prime age women increased significantly from around 34% in the ’40s to around 77% in 2000 (and then started declining).

2. The participation rate for prime age men has gradually been decreasing, from close to 97% in the ’40s to around 88% in 2014.

The second graphs show the trend since 2010.

The participation rate for both men and women appears to have bottomed around 2014, and then were impacted significantly by the pandemic in 2020.

Currently the participation rate for prime age women is 75.4%, and 88.4% for prime age men.

Some of increase in the second half of the last decade was probably due to a large cohort aging out of the “prime age”. Even in the prime age (25 to 54), different cohorts have different participation rates, with the group in the 50 to 54 having the lowest participation rate. I’ll look at an age adjusted graph soon.

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