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Marketplace Morning Report

Why aren’t more Americans working or looking for work?

Sabri Ben-Achour Jul 10, 2019
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A help wanted sign hangs in a window of a restaurant in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Labor force participation by those in their prime working years is now lower in the United States than in most other nations with comparable economies,” said Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, testifying before Congress. There are 80 million Americans between 25 and 54 years old, what the government calls prime working age. Think of them as potential providers, as potential fuel for the U.S. economy.

Not as many of them are working or looking for work as are in countries with similar economies. There are a lot of possible explanations. Among them, the cost of child care and the opioid epidemic.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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