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Changing trends in the labor force: a survey

Author

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  • Riccardo DiCecio
  • Kristie M. Engemann
  • Michael T. Owyang
  • Christopher H. Wheeler

Abstract

The composition of the American workforce has changed dramatically over the past half century as a result of both the emergence of married women as a substantial component of the labor force and an increase in the number of minority workers. The aging of the population has contributed to this change as well. In this paper, the authors review the evidence of changing labor force participation rates, estimate the trends in labor force participation over the past 50 years, and find that aggregate participation has stabilized after a period of persistent increases. Moreover, they examine the disparate labor force participation experiences of different demographic groups. Finally, they survey some of the studies that have provided explanations for these differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Riccardo DiCecio & Kristie M. Engemann & Michael T. Owyang & Christopher H. Wheeler, 2008. "Changing trends in the labor force: a survey," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 90(Jan), pages 47-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2008:i:jan:p:47-62:n:v.90no.1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2014. "Labor Force Participation and Monetary Policy in the Wake of the Great Recession," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(S2), pages 3-49, October.
    3. Beghin, John C. & Meade, Birgit Gisela Saager & Rosen, Stacey, 2014. "A Consistent Food Demand Framework for International Food Security Assessment," 2014: Food, Resources and Conflict, December 7-9, 2014. San Diego, California 197167, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    4. Lahiri, Kajal & Song, Jae & Wixon, Bernard, 2008. "A model of Social Security Disability Insurance using matched SIPP/Administrative data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 4-20, July.
    5. Paraskevi Salamaliki & Ioannis Venetis, 2014. "Smooth transition trends and labor force participation rates in the United States," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 629-652, March.
    6. Ross Richardson & Lia Pacelli & Ambra Poggi & Matteo Richiardi, 2018. "Female Labour Force Projections Using Microsimulation for Six EU Countries," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 11(2), pages 5-51.
    7. Edlund, Lena & Machado, Cecilia & Sviatschi, Maria, 2015. "Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill," IZA Discussion Papers 9502, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. David J G Slusky, 2017. "Significant Placebo Results in Difference-in-Differences Analysis: The Case of the ACA’s Parental Mandate," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 43(4), pages 580-603, September.
    9. Willem Van Zandweghe, 2012. "Interpreting the recent decline in labor force participation," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 97(Q I), pages 5-34.
    10. Kristie M. Engemann & Howard J. Wall, 2010. "The effects of recessions across demographic groups," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 92(Jan), pages 1-26.
    11. Landajo, Manuel & Presno, María José, 2010. "Nonparametric pseudo-Lagrange multiplier stationarity testing," MPRA Paper 25659, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Saridakis, George & Marlow, Susan & Storey, David J., 2014. "Do different factors explain male and female self-employment rates?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 345-362.
    13. Joseph S. Falzone, 2017. "Labor Force Participation and Educational Attainment in the United States," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 23(3), pages 321-332, August.
    14. Yuanyuan Deng & Hugo Benítez-Silva, 2015. "Medicare Expenditures, Social Security Reform, and the Labor Force Participation of Older Americans," Working Papers wp330, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    15. Silvio Contessi & Li Li, 2013. "From \\"man-cession\\" to \\"he-covery\\": same old, same old," Economic Synopses, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    16. Edlund, Lena & Machado, Cecilia & Sviatschi, Maria, 2015. "Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill," IZA Discussion Papers 9502, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    Keywords

    Labor supply; Labor market;

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