Labor force participation and employment by state and metro status, 2013-2017

April 15, 2019

The U.S. unemployment rate is near its 50-year low, but the portion of the population in the labor force is also near a 40-year low. Because business expansion is difficult during periods of extremely low unemployment, a key economic development question is how much the labor force participation rate may increase -- bringing more potential employees to the job market and easing the hiring crunch for employers.