The latest US jobs report showed that the American economy gained 157,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate inched down to 3.9 per cent. Meanwhile, the quarterly economic reportshowed the economy growing at 4.1 per cent, the highest quarterly growth rate since 2014.
However, the labour force participation rate (the share of working-age people who are either employed or looking for work) remains low — only Italy has a lower labour force participation rate among prime working-age men than the United States.
Increasing labour force participation is key to sustaining economic growth. One of the ways the US government could do that is by rethinking its approach to the opioid crisis, which is keeping people away from work.