Nonparticipation rates have increased with each generation of prime-age men. Millennials experience a notably different nonparticipation rate trajectory over their lifetime compared with previous generations, with rates starting at a higher level and declining more steeply until their mid-30s. This temporarily higher level of nonparticipation is driven by school enrollment. Even though nonparticipation rates for millennials are still higher than in previous generations, given the increasing educational attainment for younger generations and the trends we observe by education groups, the pace of the sustained rise in male nonparticipation rates may slow in the future, which could benefit economic growth.
Related: Wage Inequality and the Rise in Labor Force Exit: The Case of US Prime-Age Men and 20-40% of Declining Workforce Participation from Prime Working-Age Men Dropping Out (for Less Than 2 Years) to Increase Their Leisure and Econ Focus: Melissa Kearney