A different look at labor-force figures

A different look at labor-force figures

Monday, October 17, 2016
Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal highlighted the U.S. Labor Department’s projections on America’s labor force. Specifically, projections reflected the growth of the number of Americans outside the work force, which currently stands at 94 million.
 
Amid ongoing debate about the job market and the plight of those who are interested in having a job but unable to find one, the Journal notes that Labor Department figures show that the growing number of Americans who are outside the labor force are there for a specific reason -- they are students, caretakers, the disabled, retirees, and so forth. With a growing but aging population, the reversal of this trend would require the return of such groups, which could be aided by the reform of governmental policies such as the disability program. 
 
By the end of the 2020s, the study estimates the number of individuals outside the labor force will be 115 million. Due to many factors, including many individuals age 55 or older in future years looking forward to retirement, the further development of a strong economy, and a growing job market, the reality is that America will be looking at a larger number of people outside the labor force for the future.
 
For insights into the labor-force figures in our own four-county Gulf Coast region, go here.