Orazem: Workforce participation rate has stalled

July 7, 2021

Peter Orazem, university professor, appeared on the July 2 episode of Iowa PBS's Iowa Press.

Neither Boal nor Orazem could say exactly why Americans might not be re-entering the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 6.4 million Americans would like to be employed but are currently not seeking a job. That’s 1.4 million more people than before the pandemic.

“What is different is they are not actively searching for jobs, but when they start searching, they are able to find them very quickly,” Orazem said.

In Iowa, 66.4% of Iowans were employed or seeking a job in May 2021, the most recent month of state-level data. In February 2020, 69.7% of Iowans were participating in the workforce.

Axios, July 7. "The stimulus is a one-time windfall that, if leveraged correctly, can help governments reduce budget pressures in future years," Iowa State University economist Peter Orazem.

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