Figure A

When unemployment is 4.9 percent, the prime-age employment-to-population ratio is historically much higher: Average prime-age employment-to-population ratio when the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in last two business cycles

Year Average prime-age EPOP during months that unemployment rate was 4.9
1997 80.9
2005 79.5
2016 77.8
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Note: The unemployment rate was 4.9% in May, July and September of 1997, August and December of 2005, and January February, June, July, and August of 2016. The vertical axis is scaled to the minimum and maximum values (74.8 and 81.9) of the prime-age (25-54) employment-to-population ratio over the last two decades.

Source: EPI analysis of BLS Current Population Survey public data series.

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