Are Workers Returning? Depends on Their Age

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Labor force participation still lags behind its pre-pandemic level, but some age groups are faring far better than others. Breaking down the numbers by age gives a better idea of where workers are lagging – and can perhaps give clues for where recruiters can more easily find candidates. 

Overall, labor force participation rates are slightly behind February 2020 levels. In September, 62.3% of Americans were in the labor force compared to 63.4% pre-pandemic. 

Age Demographics

Across four age groups, labor force participation has rebounded unevenly. The youngest cohort, ages 16-19, had a 36.7% participation rate in

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