White House sees labor force dropouts getting back into the game

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 17, 2014 10:08 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Thursday it expects America's strengthening economy will temporarily halt the troubling decline in the share of workers who have jobs or are looking for one.

At just under 63 percent, the participation rate has dropped to its lowest levels since the 1970s.

Economists at the White House, however, said their analysis of labor market history suggested much of the recent decline in the rate was because a weak economy had led out-of-work Americans to put off their jobs hunts.

"As the economy continues to return to full employment, this cyclical factor will continue to dissipate," the Council of Economic Advisers said in a report. "The participation rate is likely to be roughly stable in the near term."

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)