- The labor force participation rate measures the share of the population that is employed or actively seeking employment.
- The record-long economic expansion has pulled workers off the sidelines, raising the labor force participation rate for most states.
- Among the states with the largest increases in the labor force participation rate since December 2016 are West Virginia, Iowa, and Massachusetts.
Individuals must make the decision of whether to work or hold out for a more favorable employment situation. This decision is based on a variety of factors, including wages, tax rates, and opportunities for retirement. While the U.S. macroeconomy is entering a record-long expansion, there are differences in labor force participation among states. Generally, however, states have seen improvements in labor force participation.