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Uses and Limitations

The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) measures the proportion of working-age population that engages actively in the labour market, either by working or looking for work. It is one of the key determinants of an economy’s manpower resources and is used in making projections of the future supply of manpower.

Data on LFPR are released by detailed age groups, and for men and women, allowing us to make comparisons of labour market behaviour of the different groups of people.

The LFPR does not take into account “discouraged workers” i.e. job seekers who have given up their job search because they believe their job search would not yield results. As discouraged workers are not looking for a job, they are not unemployed, but are instead classified as persons outside the labour force (also known as the economically inactive).  Data on “discouraged workers” are available from the mid-year Comprehensive Labour Force Survey.​