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Americans are staying out of the labor force for lack of benefits

Free market enthusiasts often point to Europe's relatively high unemployment rates as evidence that their more activist labor laws, like mandating paid leave, sick time, and more generous unemployment benefits make it too expensive for employers to create jobs.

But according to a new analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, America's lack of workplace benefits may be causing the U.S. prime-age labor force participation rate — or the share of able-bodied workers aged 25-54 who either have a job or are actively looking for one — to lag behind European competitors.

Data: OECD; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios