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March 18, 2012

Chart of the Day: International Comparison of Labor Participation Rate

A comparison of eight major countries labor participation rates with ours shows some interesting discoveries.

First, the whole 'aging population' rationale in the United States (for the sudden drop) may be discredited because other countries are having aging populations as well, yet the United States had one of the most precipitous drops.

Second, despite the drop, we look better than many of our developed nation counterparts. It should be no surprise that the three lowest countries on the list are European. Additionally, Italy's below 50% rating may explain some of the growth problems the country is having and subsequently debt problems.

Third, if we take an average of these countries, we find that while the participation rate is falling, it's still well within the tight trend set over the past forty years.

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