Since 2000, the number of people who are neither working nor looking for work and counted as “not in the labor force,” increased according to a recent article by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
From 2004 to 2014, the proportion of the population 16 years and older who said they were not in the labor force increased due to school attendance, illness or disability, or retirement.
The percentage not in the labor force also rose for both men and women 25 to 54 years, and nearly all reasons cited recorded an increase. Women in this age group were more likely than men to cite home responsibilities as the main reason for not working. Men and women 25 to 54 years with less education were more likely to be labor force nonparticipants than their counterparts with more education. From 2004 to 2014, the increases in the percentage of men and women not in the labor force were larger for those with less education.
People with less education were more likely than those with more education to cite illness or disability as the main reason for not working. The proportion of older adults who were not in the labor force declined from 2004 to 2014. Older adults were most likely to cite retirement as the main reason for not working, although the percentage who cited this reason fell. The older adult population saw an increase in the proportion who cited illness or disability as the main reason for not working.
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— U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Source: Beyond the Numbers, Steven F. Hipple, Economist in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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