FIGURE 5-1  Average annual labor force growth, by decade, 1950s to 2000s. SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

what. More striking is the decline in the participation rate from 1950 to 1995 among men aged 55 and over, from nearly 70 percent to less than 40 percent. This drop reflects the declines in average age at retirement (discussed below) that occurred since the 1950s, a pattern also seen throughout most of the industrialized world. Since the mid-1990s, however, the partici-


FIGURE 5-2  Labor force participation rates for four broad age-sex groups, 1950–2011. SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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