Category Archives: work

3/6/19: Three Periods in labor Force Participation Rate Evolution and Secular Stagnations


The state of the global labor markets is reflected not only in the record lows in official unemployment statistics, but also in the low labor force participation rates:


In fact, chart above shows three distinct periods of evolution of the labor force participation rates in the advanced economies, three regimes: the 1970s into 1989 period that is marked by high participation rates, the period of 1990-2004 that is marked by the steadily declining participation rates, and the period since 2005 that is associated with low and steady participation rates.

This is hardly consistent with the story of the labor markets spectacular recovery that is presented by the official unemployment rates. In fact, the evidence in the above chart points to the continued importance of the twin secular stagnations hypothesis that I have been documenting on this blog.