CBO's Labor Force Projections Through 2021

March 22, 2011

In producing regular reports on the state of the U.S. economy and 10-year and longer-term projections of the nation's budget and economic outlook, CBO examines many developments that could have short- or longer-term consequences for the budget and the economy. In coming decades, one such development is expected to be a slower rate of growth of the labor force relative to its average over the past few decades. That slowdown is anticipated to occur primarily because of the aging and retirement of large numbers of baby boomers and because women's participation in the labor force has leveled off since the late 1990s after having risen substantially for the preceding three decades. This background paper describes CBO's methods for projecting such
trends through 2021, updating CBO's Projections of the Labor Force, a CBO Background Paper published in September 2004.