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Changing Trends in the Labor Force: A Survey (ICPSR 21582)

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The composition of the American workforce has changed dramatically over the past half century as a result of both the emergence of married women as a substantial component of the labor force and an increase in the number of minority workers. The aging of the population has contributed to this change as well. In this paper, the authors review the evidence of changing labor force participation rates, estimate the trends in labor force participation over the past 50 years, and find that aggregate participation has stabilized after a period of persistent increases. Moreover, they examine the disparate labor force participation experiences of different demographic groups. Finally, they survey some of the studies that have provided explanations for these differences.

Access Notes

  • These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

  • These data are available to the general public.


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Study Description


DiCecio, Riccardo, Kristie M. Engemann, Michael T. Owyang, and Christopher H. Wheeler. Changing Trends in the Labor Force: A Survey. ICPSR21582-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-01-10. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR21582.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Research Division

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   age groups, careers, economic conditions, economic trends, economic indicators, employment, ethnicity, jobs, labor force, labor (work), labor market, minorities, unemployment, unemployment rate, wage earners, work, working women

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Data Collection Notes:

(1) A zipped package contains documentation files and an Excel file which comprises tables and corresponding figures. (2) These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigators if further information is desired.



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