Jul 7, 2023 - Economy & Business

June jobs report: Prime-age employment is highest since 2001

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

One of the best pieces of news in the June jobs report was a new multi-decade high in the share of people employed in their prime working years.

Driving the news: The employment-to-population ratio among Americans ages 25 to 54 inched up to 80.9% in June. The last time it was that high? April 2001.

  • The all-time high in that share was April 2000, when it reached 81.9%.

Flashback: This is a dramatic contrast with the expansion that followed the 2008 recession, which featured a deeply depressed employment-to-population ratio for years.

  • The current expansion began just over three years ago. At the equivalent point after the end of that recession (August 2012), the prime-age employment-to-population ratio was 75.7%.
  • If that were the current rate, it would mean 5.4 million fewer Americans working.

Between the lines: Women have driven the surge.

  • The 75.3% of 25- to 54-year-old women working in June is the highest on record in data that dates to 1948.
  • That figure was 74.9% back when the overall employment-to-population ratio peaked 23 years ago.

The bottom line: This expansion is putting Americans to work at rates previously unseen in this century.

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