Americans Out of Labor Force Dips Below 94 Million, Participation Rate At 62.9 Percent

Georgia Department of Labor services specialist Eric Frasier, left, helps a woman with a job search at an unemployment office, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Atlanta.
AP/David Goldman

The number of Americans not participating in the workforce dipped below 94 million for the first time in six months, according to new jobs data released Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that during the month of February 93,688,000 Americans were neither employed nor had made an effort to find employment that month. That’s 374,000 fewer than the month of January.

February’s non-participation level follows several months of decline, after hitting a record high of 94,610,000 Americans in October.

The participation rate, at 62.9 percent, also saw a rebound compared to previous months of 1970’s era levels, increasing 0.2 percentage points over January’s participation rate of 62.7 percent.

Meanwhile the civilian labor force grew by 555,000 over the month of January, reaching 158,890,000 last month and There were 7,815,000 people unemployed.

According to the BLS, much of the job growth occurred in the service, health care, and private educate sectors.

Overall the month of February saw payroll employment increase by 242,000 with an unchanged unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.


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