The supply of labor and worker productivity are major sources of a nation’s long-term growth in economic output. The supply of labor depends on the size of a country’s population and the country’s labor force participation rate...
In the United States, the labor force participation rate for men has been falling for several decades. The participation rate for women increased for several decades until 1999, but has fallen since.
During a recession, a country’s actual economic output typically falls below its long-term potential output; recovery from a recession generally brings the economy back to its potential output. The recession that officially began in the United States in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 was the longest, and one of the deepest, since the Great Depression.5 Because of a slow recovery, the unemployment rate was higher in mid-2014 than it was during the year before the recession, raising concerns about the effect of the recession and the subsequent slow recovery on long-term potential output.
More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.