Jobs

Labor Force Participation Rate

Measure Baseline (2015) Current Target (2025) Trend Michigan Chart
Labor force participation rate Disaggregated 60% 60% 63%

Rationale: This is the median labor force participation rate among a set of nine Midwestern cities of comparable size, demographics, and education levels; it is also the rate seen statewide in 2010. Source: PolicyLink analysis of demographic data from the US Census.

61%
White 60% 59% - 62%
Black 57% 59% - 58%
Latino 74% 68% - 67%
American Indian or Alaskan Native 66% 64% - 57%
Asian 67% 71% - 63%
Some other race 86% 56% - 67%
Two or more races 53% 61% - 61%
About this measure

Labor force participation rate represents the proportion of Battle Creek residents, ages 16 and over, who are either employed or available to work and actively seeking a job. It is a critical measure for assessing the well-being of people and families and the health of the economy because it shows the extent to which the working-age population is connected to the economy. Racial inequities in the labor force participation rate reflect persistent inequities in the labor market, including employer discrimination as well as the fact that workers of color are hit first and worst by economic downturns and often are the “last hired and first fired.” A rising labor force participation rate indicates that more workers who have been locked out of the labor market are seeking and finding work.

Policies and programs to increase labor force participation
  • Create opportunities for paid internships that introduce area youth to the world of work while focusing on career pathway development and employability skills.
  • Specifically market positive work environments and other characteristics of an employer’s work environment to talent that is currently out of the labor force to persuade talent back into the labor market.
  • Reduce barriers to employment but creating room for non-traditional employees who are looking for flexible hours.
  • Introduce strategies to attract and retain diverse talent. Hiring practices such as “remove the box” can alleviate barriers for a potential pool of talent and can lead to more potential hires.
Resources for this measure

Here are a variety of resources to help community members learn more about our labor force participation rate:

About the data

Definition: The share of the civilian population that is in the labor force and working or available to work.
Numerator: Civilian population age 16 years and over that is working or unemployed and have actively sought employment in the past four weeks.
Denominator: Total civilian population age 16 years and over.
Frequency: Annual.
Baseline: 60% (2015)
Target: 63% (Michigan rate, 2010)
Rationale: This is the median labor force participation rate among a set of nine Midwestern cities of comparable size, demographics, and education levels; it is also the rate seen statewide in 2010.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 1-year and 5-year samples.