Labor Day

September 2, 2013 by  

Labor Day, Today is Labor Day, an occasion often marked by beach trips and barbecues. While that’s all well and good, we here at Wonkblog would be remiss if we let the long weekend go by without a few good charts that show what it means to be a worker in America today and how that has changed over the years.

Labor force participation is way higher today than it was in the 1940s — but significantly lower than a decade ago.

This chart comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which began keeping track of how many Americans older than 16 participate in the labor force in 1948. There was a big climb through the ’60s and ’70s, as women began to increasingly work outside the house.

The biggest group outside the labor force are the retired.

If you’ve ever wondered who, exactly, are the 37 percent of Americans outside the labor force, wonder no more! Bloomberg Businessweek put together this graphic showing who works, who doesn’t and why.

Report to Team

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