Science, Tech, Math › Social Sciences What Is the Labor Force Participation Rate? Share Flipboard Email Print Getty Images Social Sciences Economics Employment U.S. Economy Supply & Demand Psychology Sociology Archaeology Ergonomics Maritime By Mike Moffatt Professor of Business, Economics, and Public Policy Ph.D., Business Administration, Richard Ivey School of Business M.A., Economics, University of Rochester B.A., Economics and Political Science, University of Western Ontario Mike Moffatt, Ph.D., is an economist and professor. He teaches at the Richard Ivey School of Business and serves as a research fellow at the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management. our editorial process Mike Moffatt Updated March 24, 2019 The labor force participation rate is the percentage of working-age persons in an economy who: Are employedAre unemployed but looking for a job Typically "working-age persons" is defined as people between the ages of 16-64. People in those age groups who are not counted as participating in the labor force are typically students, homemakers, non-civilians, institutionalized people, and persons under the age of 64 who are retired. In the United States the labor force participation rate is usually around 67-68%, but this figure is thought to have declined modestly in recent years.