Politics
Politics

Labor Force Participation Rate Drops To Lowest Point Since 1970s

| by Arthur Kogan

There is only one state in which the labor force participation rate is under 50%. If you guessed West Virginia to be that state, you are correct.

According to Marketwatch, the data compiled by the Labor Department depicts a drop in the adult, civilian population in the workforce in November from the state of West Virginia to 49.8%, down from 50%. The national rate in December was 62.7%

State                                   Participation Rate (%)                      Unemployment Rate (%)

Alabama                                             52.2                                                       6
Alaska                                                 63.4                                                     6.6
Arizona                                                55.5                                                     6.8
Arkansas                                             53.9                                                     5.8
California                                             58                                                        7.2
Colorado                                             64.9                                                     4.1
Connecticut                                         61.7                                                     6.5
Delaware                                            57.8                                                       6
District of Columbia                            64.5                                                     7.4
Florida                                                 57                                                        5.8
Georgia                                               57.6                                                     7.2
Hawaii                                                 59.4                                                      4
Idaho                                                   60.4                                                     3.9
Illinois                                                  60.7                                                     6.4
Indiana                                                60                                                        5.7
Iowa                                                    67.4                                                     4.3
Kansas                                               65                                                        4.3
Kentucky                                            54.6                                                       6
Louisiana                                           57.2                                                     6.5
Maine                                                 60.8                                                     5.7
Maryland                                            62.2                                                     5.6
Massachusetts                                  61.5                                                     5.8
Michigan                                            56.2                                                     6.7
Minnesota                                          67.3                                                     3.7
Mississippi                                        50.8                                                     7.3
Missouri                                             61.1                                                     5.6
Montana                                             61.3                                                     4.3
Nebraska                                           68.7                                                     3.1
Nevada                                              57.9                                                     6.9
New Hampshire                                66.1                                                     4.1
New Jersey                                       60                                                        6.4
New Mexico                                      54.2                                                     6.4
New York                                          56.7                                                      5.9
North Carolina                                 56.6                                                      5.8
North Dakota                                   69.5                                                      2.7
Ohio                                                  59.8                                                       5
Oklahoma                                        57.9                                                      4.4
Oregon                                            57.6                                                         7
Pennsylvania                                  59                                                          5.1
Rhode Island                                  60.2                                                       7.1
South Carolina                              52.5                                                        6.7
South Dakota                                  67                                                          3.3
Tennessee                                      54.6                                                       6.8
Texas                                              61.8                                                        4.9
Utah                                                65.4                                                        3.6
Vermont                                         65.3                                                        4.3
Virginia                                          62.5                                                         5
Washington                                   59.5                                                       6.2
West Virginia                               49.8                                                        6.3
Wisconsin                                    64.9                                                        5.2
Wyoming                                      65.2                                                        4.5

It is important to important to note that in order to be considered as part of the labor force, an individual has to be making an effort to find a job. If he/she does not do anything for a month, the government removes you from the labor force. You are still unemployed, but it does not count for the national rates.

Simply put, West Virginia is currently a state where people have given up on finding a job. With a troubled economy and an older population at 41.9 (fourth highest), West Virginia’s labor force has suffered dramatically and the unemployment rate is above average as well.

According to Yahoo, the labor force participation rate fell to 62.7% in December, the lowest it has been since the late 1970s.

Is the economy on track? There have been 1 million jobs created in the last four months along with a drop in the unemployment rate. The labor force participation rate will likely continue to drop as the baby-boomers continue to age and leave the workforce.

According to Business Insider, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the labor force participation rate will drop to 60.8% by 2024.

Sources: Marketwatch, Yahoo, Business Insider / Photo Source: American Enterprise Institute