Bloomberg: Hard at Work: Prime-Age Americans in Workforce Hits Decade High


  • Labor force participation jumps for women ages 25 to 54
  • Prime-age participation peaked at 84.6% in January 1999

The percentage of people in the U.S. aged 25 to 54 who are employed or actively looking for work has climbed to the highest in a decade as demand in the health-care and education sectors lures more women into the workforce.

Labor force participation in the so-called prime-age group rose to 82.8% in October, matching the rate from August 2009, the Labor Department said in its monthly employment report on Friday. The rate was 82.9% in June 2009, and peaked at 84.6% in January 1999.

Some 76.6% of women in the group were employed or actively looking for work in October, up from 76.2% in the previous month. That was the highest participation rate since 77.3% in April 2000, according to the data. The percentage of similarly-aged men held steady at 89.1% in October.

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