by Keith Hall
Mercatus Center
April 03, 2014
Nearly five years after the end of the Great Recession, the labor market today is still far from full recovery. The problem of this inadequate job growth for everyone in America can be attributed to an unprecedented disengagement from the labor force since the end of the recession. Last year, labor force participation was at its lowest level in 35 years. Unless we stop this trend and begin to bring back the millions of Americans who are no longer in the labor force, we will have permanently lower economic growth, slower income growth, and rising income inequality. In order to assist American families to escape poverty, we must focus on policies that support employment by encouraging economic growth, lowering the cost of hiring for employers, and increasing incentives to re-enter the labor force.

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