For Four Years, the Labor Force Participation Rate Has Been Stuck

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Express Employment Professionals looks at the latest labor force participation rate.

The unemployment report released today shows that the labor force participation rate is stuck—and has been for four years.

Since 2014, the rate has been largely flat, an indication that despite low unemployment and signs of strong economic growth, many would-be workers are sitting on the sidelines.

“Even with the baby boomers retiring, a growing economy should lead to more workers entering the workforce,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, and the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “As wages rise, I expect to see the labor force participation rate increase, which would be great for workers and the overall economy.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said today that the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent with 148,000 new jobs created in December. The labor force participation rate, a key measure of jobs related to economic growth, remained at 62.7 percent for the third month in a row. For the year, it declined from 62.9 percent to 62.7.

If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, 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 790 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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