The Dwindling Workforce | WBEZ
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Many Americans are choosing not to work

There are, as of 2014, 17 million fewer people in the active labor force than in 2004. That's people not working or looking for work. The percentage of adults not in the labor force is up from 31 to 35 percent in the past decade. It's not just Baby Boomers leaving the workforce or going on disability that's causing the increase in people choosing not to work, more of the population aged 25-55 and 16-25 is out of work, too.

For younger people, focusing on school is a major reason not to take on a part time job, but even for those who might have had one in the past, the market has slimmed down. For the 25-55 set, taking care of children or the elderly may be a reason not to look for a job. As the job market opens up and wages increase, more of the prime-aged would-be workforce may be tempted back into employment, but the mass Boomer exit may leave a permanent impact. 

Mitchell Hartman joins Molly Wood to explain the reasons behind chosen unemployment and how the job market may evolve. 

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