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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
FRBSF Economic Letter
Why Aren’t U.S. Workers Working?
Mary C. Daly
Joseph H. Pedtke
Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau
Annemarie Schweinert
Abstract

Labor force participation among U.S. men and women ages 25 to 54 has been declining for nearly 20 years, a stark contrast with rising participation in Canada over this period. Three-fourths of the difference between the two countries can be explained by the growing gap in labor force attachment of women. A key factor is the extensive parental leave policies in Canada. If the United States could reverse the trend in participation of prime-age women to match Canada, it would see 5 million additional prime-age workers join the labor force.


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Mary C. Daly & Joseph H. Pedtke & Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau & Annemarie Schweinert, "Why Aren’t U.S. Workers Working?" , Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, FRBSF Economic Letter, number 24, 2018.
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