Low participation is the main explanation for depressed employment rates among prime-age Americans. Participation rates are not only low in comparison to levels seen before the Great Recession, they are also now below those in other rich countries. Charts 2 and 3 compare employment-to-population rates among 25-54 year-olds in seven OECD member countries (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States).
The charts show employment rates separately for men and women in two different years, 2000 and 2014. The countries are ranked, from left to right, by their employment rates in 2014. In 2000 the U.S. had the second highest male employment rate (Chart 2) and the second highest female employment rate (Chart 3) of the seven countries listed. By 2014, the U.S. had the lowest male and female employment rates among the countries compared. Although several nations saw declines in their prime-age male employment rate, only the U.S. also experienced a decline in its prime-age female employment rate. The other six countries all saw increases in female employment.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Job market news just keeps getting better | Brookings Institution