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Capital Economics

The leading macroeconomic research consultancy

US Economics Weekly

US Economics Weekly

Participation rate will keep on falling

It has been suggested that the reported decline in the unemployment rate to a near three-year low of 8.3% in January, from a high of 10.0% in February 2009, is not nearly as good as it looks because it mainly reflects an exodus from the labour force rather than strong employment growth. We have a lot of sympathy with this view, but we're not convinced that we will ever see any flood of people back into the labour force. It is much more likely that the ageing of the population will mean the participation rate continues to fall sharply over the next decade. 

 

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