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The Middle Georgia Labor Force. Data From The American Community Survey 2006-2010. Definitions. The Labor Force – The population of an area aged 16 years & over working or looking for work during a reference week

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the middle georgia labor force

The Middle Georgia Labor Force

Data From The

American Community Survey


  • The Labor Force – The population of an area aged 16 years & over working or looking for work during a reference week
  • Labor Force Composition – A group’s share of the total labor force (by age, race, gender, etc.)
  • Labor Force Participation – The share of the population working or looking for work
  • Labor Force Growth – A look at the growth of groups since the 2000 Census.
the labor force
The Labor Force
  • The composition of the labor force depends on the composition of the population & those in it that are willing & able to work
  • Population movements including migration & growth have a long term influence
  • Age is a very influential factor
  • Gender variations exist in all labor markets
labor force participation
Labor Force Participation

What does it tell us?

  • How well we are using our potential human capital

Why is it important?

  • It can have a profound impact on the potential growth of the local economy
  • Highest for Prime Age Workers & those with more education
  • Goes down during recessions & up during Recoveries
  • Baby Boomers are entering an age group with a lower participation rate
  • Rates are trending down overall, but up for older age groups
labor force growth decline
Labor Force Growth & Decline
  • The labor force is growing older, more racially & ethnically diverse, & composed of more women.
  • Baby Boomers are aging out of the labor force, slowing labor force growth overall
  • But Boomers are delaying retirement
  • Younger age groups are staying in school longer & out of the labor force
declining teen labor force participation
Declining Teen Labor Force Participation
  • The participation rate of teenagers has fallen steadily since the late 1970s through both business-cycle expansions and contractions.
  • School Enrollment - The % of teenagers enrolled in school but not in the labor force has gone from about 40% to almost 60% over the past 25 years.
declining participation of young adult women
Declining Participation of Young Adult Women
  • Some are caring for young children.
  • Offset somewhat by the increase in the labor force participation of single mothers with low levels of educational attainment.
    • Due at least in part to the work requirements of welfare reform legislation enacted in the 1990s.
steady decline in participation of men aged 25 to 54
Steady Decline in Participation of Men aged 25 to 54
  • Participation among less educated men has been declining since the mid-1950’s.
    • Men with more education are more likely to be labor force participants.
    • Decline among the less educated could be because jobs have become less desirable.
  • Increased access to Social Security disability benefits.
other causes
Other Causes
  • Recessions effects
  • The changing structure of the job market,
  • Competition for available jobs from the immigrants & older workers
  • Increased demand for workers with higher education.
  • Globalization (the most likely cause)
increased participation of older workers
Increased Participation of Older Workers
  • In 2000, the Social Security "earnings penalty” was removed for workers aged 65 to 70 years who earned wages;
  • Social Security’s normal retirement age increased;
  • Defined-benefit pension plan coverage is declining & defined-contribution plans increasing
  • Less access to employer-provided retiree benefits,
increased participation of older workers1
Increased Participationof Older Workers
  • Rising health care costs & increasing out-of pocket expenses
  • Longer life expectancies, improved health.
  • Elimination of mandatory retirement age by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act in 1986.
  • Older individuals are more educated than their counterparts in the past
  • The financial crisis has hit retirement savings
why is our participation rate so low
Why is Our Participation Rate So Low?
  • Drop-outs - By their 25th birthday, 6% of U.S. young adults who had not received a high school diploma had never held a job since turning 18.
  • Age – slightly larger share of 16-24 year olds
  • Race/Ethnicity – higher share of groups with lower rates
  • Other factors mentioned above