by Pamela Villarreal
National Center for Policy Analysis
May 07, 2014
Women’s labor force participation rate (LFPR)—the percentage of individuals employed or looking for work—reached an all-time high of 60 percent in 1999, but since then has steadily declined to 57.2 percent in 2012. Men’s labor force participation has been dropping, yet still remains higher than women’s. Some analysts note that an increasing number of married women have decided a career is not worth it and are opting to stay at home. Others point to the lower participation rate of women under age 24. Still others attribute the decline to baby boomers entering retirement. Though the labor force participation of women is at a ten year low, record numbers are receiving Social Security disability benefits. If the trends identified in this report continue, disability that prevents work may become a greater issue for young women than the social and economic factors that apparently inhibit work force advancement.

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