Don’t Look Now, but the Labor Force Participation Rate is Rising

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Express Employment Professionals Believes the BLS Report is an Important Sign of a Stronger Economy

The unemployment report released today shows that the labor force participation rate is trending higher and is up significantly from its September 2015 low point of 62.4 percent. According to today’s report, the rate grew in February to 63 percent, marking the third month in a row that it has increased.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said today that the unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent with 235,000 new jobs created last month.

“A growing labor force participation rate is vital to strong economic growth. Even with the downward pressure of the baby boomer retirement, the rate has ticked up nicely over the last three months. If this trend continues, it’s great for workers and important for overall economic growth,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, and the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Labor Force Participation Rate:
Year    Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec
2014    62.9    62.9    63.1    62.8    62.8    62.8    62.9    62.9    62.8    62.9    62.9    62.7
2015    62.9    62.7    62.7    62.8    62.9    62.6    62.6    62.6    62.4    62.5    62.5    62.7
2016    62.7    62.9    63.0    62.8    62.6    62.7    62.8    62.8    62.9    62.8    62.6    62.7
2017    62.9    63.0                                                 

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics


If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, corporate communications and PR director, at (405) 717-5966.

About Robert A. Funk

Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 770 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.05 billion in sales and employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit

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Sheena Karami
Express Employment Professionals
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