Soylent Green and economics of the labor force
Now many will say it is all because workers are dropping out of the labor force due to discouragement. Before you fall into that trap read any of the following:
Philly Fed (November 2013) : On the Causes of Declines in the Labor Force Participation Rate. One quote: "In particular, the decline in the participation rate in the last one-and-a-half years (when the unemployment rate declined faster than expected) is entirely due to retirement."
Urban Institute: Why are fewer people in the labor force during the great recession. Quote: "the dramatic drop in labor force participation during and after the Great Recession has been driven by a decline in labor force entry rates rather than substantial increases in the share of workers leaving the workforce."
Atlanta Fed: Changes in Aggregate Labor Force Participation Rates
Reuters: Bullard: Labor Force Participation Demographic Driven, Not Cyclical. Quote: "labor force participation looks right, adding the rate appears driven by demographics"
Atlantic: No, Obama's Not to Blame for Our Historically Pathetic Participation Rate
NPR: Workers may be missing, or just retiring
I bet that if you decompiled the demographics of Pennsylvania, the impact of aging in Pennsylvania's labor force is greater than what is true for the nation on average.
I could go on, and it is another whole story what is going on with local labor force participation rates, but Tuesday's data dump of Pittsburgh MSA jobs data is going to be interesting. No way to get big statewide changes without a big Pittsburgh component.