After a mostly steady decline over the last 15 years, the U.S. labor force participation rate expanded in March.
NAHB’s Eye on Housing examined the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March jobs report and found that the labor force participation rate was 63.0 that month, up from a low of 62.4 percent in September. The metric measures the economy’s labor force, taking into account people who are employed or are unemployed but actively looking for a job.
The participation rate peaked at 67.1 percent in the late 1990s but started to decline in 2001. Because of the recession, the figure fell 3.7 percentage points from 2007 to September 2015.
NAHB says that the rise in the participation rate might signal the “beginning of a recovery from the cyclical aspect of the decline and further improvement in the labor market.”
The jobs report also indicated increases in strong payroll gains and the unemployment rate.