Vanishing Workforce Weighs on Growth

How long is one supposed to wait before filing a missing persons report? More than a decade old, the trend of Americans disappearing from the workforce increased dramatically during the recession, and last Friday’s jobs report rekindled fears that the forces behind the increase are becoming more intractable. The Labor Department reported that the U.S. labor force shrank by 500,000 people in March, with a participation rate of 63.3 percent—the lowest since May 1979.