Jobs

04.29.13

Labor News That Isn't All Terrible

John Moore/Getty Images ()

The Wall Street Journal has labor news that - if not exactly good - at least is less bad than we are used to. Yes, labor force participation has declined, but as much because of demography as because of weak employment demand.

Americans are much more likely to work between the ages of 25 and 54 than when they are older or younger. But with the baby boomers aging, and many of their children now at least 16 years old but not yet into the prime of their working lives, it is the older and younger ends of the working-age population that are growing most quickly. Adjust for the changing population, and the "missing" workforce shrinks [from the usual figure of 7 million discouraged workers] to about 4.3 million.