Workers_or_Shirkers - Economist.com Page 1 of 2 Employment...

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Employment Workers or shirkers Jan 27th 2005 | WASHINGTON, DC From The Economist print edition A puzzle over America's shrinking labour force MOST Americans seem to have more work to do than ever. But why are so many of them dropping out of the labour force? The proportion of working-age people who have a job or are hunting for one is supposed to grow in a recovery. Yet the “labour-force participation rate” has been slipping ever since it reached 67.3% in 2000, leaving it at 66% today. Oddly, it's the young and the middle-aged who are leaving the workforce, while the old are joining it in greater numbers. This is a puzzle. Normally, when economic growth rebounds, so does participation. One explanation is that, despite a rather low unemployment rate of 5.4%, the economy is still weak. People may have stopped hunting for jobs and therefore aren't popping up as “unemployed”. Some of these people are no doubt living off a spouse's income. But others, it seems, are relying on disability benefits: from 2000 to 2003, 1.8m more have claimed them,
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2011 for the course ECONOMICS 201 taught by Professor P during the Spring '11 term at Columbia College.

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Workers_or_Shirkers - Economist.com Page 1 of 2 Employment...

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