Note: This commentary has been updated with the latest numbers from last week's Employment Report.
Our earlier update on demographic trends in employment included a chart illustrating the growth (or shrinkage) in six age cohorts since the turn of the century. In this commentary, we'll zoom in on the age 50 and older Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR).
But first, let's review the big picture. The overall LFPR is a simple computation: You take the Civilian Labor Force (people age 16 and over employed or seeking employment) and divide it by the Civilian Noninstitutional Population (those 16 and over not in the military and or committed to an institution). The result is the participation rate expressed as a percent.
For the larger context, here is a snapshot of the monthly LFPR for age 16 and over stretching back to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' starting point in 1948, the blue line in the chart below, along with the unemployment rate.