Labor Force Participation Rate, ages 16-64


Rank: 7th of 9 counties
Larimer County's Labor Force Participation rate is similar to Colorado's and a little higher than the nation as a whole.
LFP, Males, ages 16 - 64
LFP, Females, ages 16 - 64
LFP, Veterans, ages 18 - 64
LFP, with a Disability, ages 18 - 64
What is this measure? The U.S. Census Bureau definition of labor force includes people who had a job or who were looking for a job during the reference time, including people who were members of the Armed Forces on activity duty. Labor force participation (LFP) rate is measured as the proportion of people who were in the labor force as a percent of the total population. People who are not in the labor force may include full-time students, institutionalized persons who cannot work, family caregivers who do not get paid, retirees, and other people who are not working and are also not looking for work. Labor force increases when more people are working or looking for work and decreases when people decide to stop working or stop looking for work.

Why do we track this? A strong workforce should include most of the working age adult population. An extreme change or prolonged upward or downward trend in labor force participation indicates that we need to try to understand the factors that drive the change. We also rely on neighboring counties for workers for some of our jobs and jobs for some of our residents. Changes in the labor force in neighboring communities may have indirect impacts for workers or employers in Larimer County.
Larimer County and Colorado generally maintain a higher LFP than the U.S as a whole. Click on a Place name to make it visible on the chart. Larimer exchanges workforce with the 8 counties included here: Labor force changes in these places could impact our residents or our ability to import workers from these Front Range counties.
Several factors influence Colorado and Larimer County's high LFP: generally, rates of employment are higher among more highly educated people, and Colorado has a greater proportion of the adult population with education beyond high school than the nation as a whole. Colorado's Front Range currently has a strong economy which makes finding and keeping a job easier than it is in some other markets. A common reason people leave the workforce during their prime working years is to care for family members, not only children, but also spouses or parents with health issues. Additionally, workers whose skills do not match the needs of the job market may leave the workforce if they are unable to find work opportunities after an extended period of time.

Keeping LFP high or increasing it is only partly related to the number of job opportunities available. A large component in maintaining or increasing an already high labor force participation rate is addressing the reasons why people leave the workforce and reducing the barriers that keep some people from being able to find and maintain jobs that can support a basic standard of living.

Looking at LFP of sub-populations, such as breaking participation rates down by gender, veteran status, race/ethnicity or disability status provides a lens for asking questions of where barriers to employment may hinder participation in the labor force. A thriving economy needs an environment that allows equitable access to employment opportunities.
The LFP in Larimer cities and towns is relatively similar. The error bars show the 90% confidence interval. Census ACS data is based upon surveys of a random sample of the population. It often means that areas with a small population have a much larger margin of error. The ACS 5-year data products use survey responses from multiple years to reduce the error in the estimates. Click on the circles in the legend to show/hide each series.
Larimer county has higher labor force participation (Employed + Unemployed) for adults with disabilities than the U.S. as a whole. However, labor force participation is lower for adults with disabilities than for the population that does not have a disability. Providing equal access to work opportunities for all individuals who want to work and are able to work is an important function of an inclusive economy. 1-year estimates are used in the key statistic at the top of this page. This in-depth chart uses a multi-year estimate, which provides a more stable long term estimate.
What are some limitations to this source and what are the alternatives? Census ACS data is based on annual surveys and is updated once per year. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment data is published monthly and the Colorado Dept of Labor and employment adjusts these estimates to include larger Colorado cities. Colorado Department of Local Affairs also maintains their own annual estimates. Why did we use this source? This allows labor force data to be broken down to very small geographic areas and also by demographic groups not available in other products.

Data Source

  • U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. Tables B23001 and C23001 (1-year estimates) and (5-year estimates), as well as B21005 (Veterans, 1-year) and C18120 (Disability Status, 1-year and 5-year). Calculated as total number of participants in the labor force (per individual or summed age group) divided by the total population estimates (for individual or summed age groups).

Related Dashboard Measures

Additional Information and Other Data Sources