After decades of strong gains, the share of women in the U.S. labor force has plateaued in recent years. Recently released projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the female share of the labor force will peak at 47.1% in 2025 and then taper off to 46.3% by 2060, meaning that women will remain a minority of the labor force.
This overall trend in the composition of the labor force is tied to labor force participation, which the new projections indicate will continue to decline for both women and men.
Most economists say a decline in labor force participation is a matter of concern because improvements in the nation’s standard of living depend on labor force participation and productivity growth. The rapid increase in the share of women entering the labor force between 1950 and 2000 boosted overall labor force participation and spurred an increase in living standards (as measured by gross domestic product per person). The decline in participation since 2000 has worked to the opposite effect, depressing economic…
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