Politics

Congress To Investigate Shrinking Number Of Americans In The Job Market

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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The Joint Economic Committee announced Monday it’s investigating the shrinking number of Americans participating in the job market, which fell in June to its lowest rate since 1977.

The committee, made up of 20 members of the House and Senate and chaired by Republican Sen. Dan Coats, will hold a hearing Wednesday to figure out why the rate continues to fall. (RELATED: Nearly One In Four Americans In Their Prime Are Not Working)

The percentage of Americans working or looking for work fell to 62.6 percent in June, after 432,000 people dropped out of the labor force. That’s the lowest rate since October, 1977, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate has declined sharply since 2007, failing to recover even as the unemployment rate fell from double digits in the height of the 2008 recession to 5.3 percent in June.

The rate “simply cannot be explained away by demographics,” JEC spokeswoman Kristine Michalson told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an emailed statement. “This hearing asks five basic questions about dwindling worker participation: who, what, where, why and how. Who is working less? What does this mean for Americans? Where will these trends go from here? Why has the proportion of Americans looking for work or working fallen? How did this happen?”

Scholars from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, the American Enterprise Institute and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth will testify Wednesday.

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