The Chart Below from Calculated Risk shows the actual annual participation rate and two forecasts based on changes in demographics. Now that the leading edge of the baby boom generation is starting to retire, the participation rate is declining and will probably continue to decline for the next 20 years. Note: the yellow line is from a forecast by Austin State University Professor Robert Szafran in September 2002.
This suggests that any bounceback in the participation rate as the economy recovers will probably be fairly small, and that the decline in the overall participation rate is mostly due to demographic factors.
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