Labor Force Participation Rate Maintains Momentum, Flat for the Month, Up from Its Low

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Express Employment Professionals CEO Bob Funk comments on the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

Despite the disappointing number of new jobs announced in today’s unemployment report, the labor force participation rate did not decrease, remaining at its previous rate of 63 percent.

It remains up significantly from its September 2015 low point of 62.4 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said today that the unemployment rate dropped from 4.7 percent to 4.5 with just 98,000 new jobs created last month.

“The fact that the labor force participation rate held its own last month is a silver lining in an otherwise disappointing report. I continue to believe that a rising labor force participation rate is a key piece of a strong economy, especially for lower-income, unskilled workers. For our economy to be strong, we need them to re-enter the workforce,” 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     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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