The U.S. Stands Out on Labor Force Participation Rates

The U.S. has become an outlier among its peers in a key employment gauge.

Among eight major advanced economies, all but one — the United States — show gains in labor force participation over the past 15 years, according to a new study by Maximiliano Dvorkin and Hannah Shell of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Participation fell by 4.6 percentage points in the U.S. between 1997 and 2013, says the study based on data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. By contrast, it rose over that period in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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