On the Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate

We had featured both Dean Baker and David Altig in this post. Dean is featuring the drop in the overall employment to population ratio, while David is featuring the labor force participation rates by age groups. Since Dean suggests David’s graphs only go through February, let’s compare the May 2007 data to the December 2006 date. The overall labor force participation rate fell from 66.4% to 66.0%. By age groups, we see:

16 to 24: the ratio fell from 60.9% to 58.9%

25 to 54: the ratio fell from 83.2% to 83.0%

55 and over: the ratio remained unchanged at 38.5%

These are the facts that leave Dean quite concerned but apparently not so much with David.