The share of prime-age men (aged 25 to 54) who are either working or actively looking for work has declined from 98% in 1954 to 88% today.

A new White House Council of Economic Advisers report documents a number of possible explanations for this concerning trend, including increasing rates of women in the workforce, rising disability insurance claims, falling demand for less-skilled workers, and barriers to employment for those with criminal records, says Alan Berube, senior fellow and deputy director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.

This long-term decline raises concerns about its impact on economic growth. To find out more, read Berube's analysis.

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