That's the situation facing the U.S. economy, and it's why some economists say we shouldn't have high hopes for a jump in the labor force participation rate. Baby boomers are just beginning to hit retirement age. Workers have been delaying retirement in recent years—the participation rate for people 55 and over has grown significantly over the last decade, from nearly 34 percent at the start of 2002 to 40.6 percent now—but that huge group of workers will eventually leave the workforce, and quickly. In other words, analysts may soon have to shift how they gauge what has been one of the most-watched job indicators in the recovery.
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Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at email@example.com.