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The OP is right...the lagging Labor Force Participation Rate is not all due to the economy. As Baby Boomers have been retiring, that brings down the percentage of Americans in the labor force.

I know the labor participation rate peaked in the late '90s and has been going down since. However, what I don't follow is Krugman's conclusion that "Once you take the effects of an aging population into account, the numbers show a substantial improvement in the employment picture since the summer of 2011."

If a third of the young are underemployed or unemployed, how does Mr. K get to 'a substantial improvement'?

DB2
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