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Today's Labor Force

Gender, Age, Race, And Ethnic Origin, Education, Families, The Working Poor

The American labor force grew rapidly from 1971 to 2005, a period that saw the entry of the post-World War II baby-boom generation into the labor force, an increase in the percentage of women working outside the home, and the addition of workers gained through immigration. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor show that the number of workers in the American civilian noninstitutionalized labor force (workers not in the army, school, jail, or mental health facilities) almost doubled from 84.4 million men and women in 1971 to 149.3 million men and women in 2005. These statistics include those who are working part- or full-time and those who are unemployed but actively looking for jobs. During the period 1971 to 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the overall proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population in the labor force rose from 60.2% to 66%.

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Jobs and Career OpportunitiesCareers and Occupations: Looking to the Future