Skip to main content

U.S. Labor Force Slow to Rebound

Exit trends and gender are factors behind the U.S. labor market's slow rebound. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the share of 25- to 54-year-olds in the labor force dropped in early 2020 and that it only partially recovered a year later. 

People employed at the start of the pandemic but currently out of the labor force were more likely to be employed in those sectors hit hardest by the pandemic—transportation, hospitality, and food service.

Women are more likely to have left the labor market primarily because of increased domestic responsibilities; this reversed the trend of a rising labor force participation rate for women over the past few decades. Find the data and analysis in this Economic Synopses essay.