Gallup - From 1975 to 2000, the labor force participation rate -- the percentage of the population that is either employed or unemployed and actively seeking work -- among U.S. women rose dramatically. But at the turn of the millennium, it began to decline and has been falling ever since.
A study conducted by Maximiliano Dvorkin and Hannah Shell for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that 59.9% of women aged 15-16 and older were in the labor force in 2000. By 2010, that figure fell to 58.6%, and at the end of 2015, it was even lower, at 56.7%.
Retiring female baby boomers account for a percentage of the shrinking labor force, as does the increasing number of young women enrolling in college. But these demographics don't tell the whole story. Dvorkin and Shell also discovered a decrease in labor force participation among women in their "prime age" -- between 25 and 54. The U.S. used to have one of the highest labor force participation rates among women in this age group, but now it has one of the lowest rates compared with eight developed countries in the study.