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[Excerpt] A major factor that contributed to the growth of the U.S. labor force in the second half of the twentieth century was the remarkable increase in the labor force participation rate of women. During this time, the U.S. economy experienced economic growth that increased the demand for labor. Baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) began entering the labor force in large numbers in the early 1960s as they reached working age. Coupled with the rapidly increasing labor force participation rate of women, this resulted in a large influx of women into the labor market. After peaking in 1999, the labor force participation rate of women has continuously declined. During this time, the baby-boom generation aged and the economy experienced the impacts of the severe 2007–09 recession. BLS projects women's labor force participation rate to continue its decline in the 2014–24 decade.


Suggested Citation
Toossi, M., & Morisi, T. L. (2017). BLS spotlight on statistics: Women in the workforce before, during, and after the Great Recession. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.