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A posed photo of two white women and a black man in a suit.
  1. Social Security and Retirement
  2. Retirement Age and Social Security
  3. Working at Home
  4. Longer Years of Retirement
  5. Employment trends
  6. Foreign workers in the United States
  7. Mexican Workers in the United States
  8. Workplace Safety Standards
  9. Work-related Injuries and Deaths
  10. Growth of Large Corporate Farming
  11. Union Membership Across the United States
  12. Laws Regarding Working Women
  13. Labor Contracts in the United States
  14. Right-to-Work Laws
  15. Public worker unions in the United States
  16. Unemployment insurance
  17. Equal Opportunity Employment Laws
  18. Workers’ Compensation
  19. Minimum Age for Agricultural Employment
  20. Minors in the Workplace
  21. Minimum Wage
  22. Employment of Persons with Disabilities
  23. Major Equal Employment Legislation in the U.S.
  24. Employment in the Service Sector
  25. Unemployment
  26. State’s Unique Worker’s Compensation Laws
  27. Life on Unemployment
  28. Minimum Wage and Poverty
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Two men pose next to each other.
Workers at a metal factory in Detroit, MI.
Photo from Jim West.
Employment trends
Between 1950 and 2001, the civilian labor force in the United States grew by over 79 million people, or around 127 percent. Most of this growth took place between 1950 and 1980, with the decade of the seventies seeing the biggest increase. This was due to the entry of the "baby boom generation" (persons born between 1946 and 1964) into the labor force. In the early 80s, the rapid growth in the labor force slowed as nearly all of the baby-boom generation who were going to enter the work force had already done so. Women also began entering the labor force in increasing numbers between 1950 and 1980. During this time, their participation in the labor force increased from around 30 percent to close to 43 percent. By 2001, 74.4 percent of men held jobs as did 60.1 percent of women. The minority share of the workforce also has increased over the past five decades. In 1980 (the first year statistics on Hispanics are available), blacks and Hispanics made up 18.1 percent of the labor force. By 2001, that figure had grown to 23 percent.
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