More Americans dropped out of the labor force last month, as the number of people not in the labor force hit another record high in March.
According to Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statics jobs data 93,175,000 Americans were not in the work force in March, an addition of 277,000 to February’s level of 92,898,000.
The BLS defines people not in the labor force as people ages 16 and older who are neither employed nor have they “made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week.”
The work force decline also corresponded with a drop in the labor force participation rate, wherein March’s rate of 62.7 percent matched earlier lows seen September and December 2014 but not seen before since in 1978. February’s participation rate was 62.8 percent.
March was the first month on record where the number of people not in the labor force — whether due to discouraged worker, baby boomers hitting retirement or otherwise — surpassed 93 million.