If the labour force participation rate is 85 percent, what is the size of the labour force if I have these information: Total population                                                                                    80 million Working-age population                                                                       75 million Unemployed                                                                                         8 million

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The labor force participation rate is defined as the ratio of labor force to the working age population, multiplied by 100. Mathematically,

labor force participation rate = 100 x (labor force/working age population)

In the given question, the working age population is 75 million and the labor force participation rate is 85%, thus the labor force size is:

Size of labor force = Labor force participation rate x working age population / 100    = 85 x 75/100 =  63.75 million people.

Thus, the size of the labor force is 63.75 million people.

Of this labor force, 8 million people are unemployed, thus only 55.75 million (= 63.75 - 8) people are employed. 

The labor force includes the population that is either employed or in search of employment (even if it is currently unemployed).


Hope this helps. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial