The Daily Chart: Long COVID Labor Market?

The official unemployment rate remains very low, despite increasing signs of an impending recession such as the inverted yield curve. But the labor force participation rate (especially among men) has not recovered from pre-COVID levels, as seen in the figure below from a new edition of Nick Eberstadt’s Men Without Work. Have we ever had a recession begin under conditions of a low labor force participation rate? I don’t know, but this seems like a possibly ominous wild card in the current economic cycle.

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