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The FRED Blog – Who’s working and where?

The FRED Blog examined labor force participation rates among adults aged 25-54 in the U.S., Spain, U.K., and Japan, and found stark differences. Since the 1960s, Japan and the U.K. show steady increases in employment activity. Spain shows a sharp increase beginning in the early 2000s.

However, the U.S. shows a decline since the 1990s. When the data are analyzed by gender, they show the decrease in participation has to do with males. After peaking in the 1970s, the percentage of males in the workforce has steadily declined. Full post here. Also, the percentage of females in the U.S. labor force is associated with shifting family dynamics. In the working paper “Family Economics Writ Large,” authors Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner, and Guillaume Vandenbroucke examine the role of women in the labor force and the associated trends that concern policymakers today, including declining fertility rates, upsurge in educational attainment, and increase in divorce. Full technical paper here.