Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Release: Employment Situation
The series comes from the 'Current Population Survey (Household Survey)'
The source code is: LNS11300000
The Labor Force Participation Rate is defined by the Current Population Survey (CPS) as “the number of people in the labor force as a percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population […] the participation rate is the percentage of the population that is either working or actively looking for work.”
The Labor Force Participation Rate is collected in the CPS and published by the BLS. It is provided on a monthly basis, so this data is used in part by macroeconomists as an initial economic indicator of current labor market trends. The labor force participation rate helps government agencies, financial markets, and researchers gauge the overall health of the economy.
Note that long-run changes in labor force participation may reflect secular economic trends that are unrelated to the overall health of the economy. For instance, demographic changes such as the aging of population can lead to a secular increase of exits from the labor force, shrinking the labor force and decreasing the labor force participation rate.
For more information, see:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES Overview
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Concepts and Definitions (CPS)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Participation Rate [CIVPART], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CIVPART, June 2, 2023.
Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US)
Release: H.15 Selected Interest Rates
Averages of daily figures.
For additional historical federal funds rate data, please see Daily Federal Funds Rate from 1928-1954.
The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions trade federal funds (balances held at Federal Reserve Banks) with each other overnight. When a depository institution has surplus balances in its reserve account, it lends to other banks in need of larger balances. In simpler terms, a bank with excess cash, which is often referred to as liquidity, will lend to another bank that needs to quickly raise liquidity. (1) The rate that the borrowing institution pays to the lending institution is determined between the two banks; the weighted average rate for all of these types of negotiations is called the effective federal funds rate.(2) The effective federal funds rate is essentially determined by the market but is influenced by the Federal Reserve through open market operations to reach the federal funds rate target.(2)
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets eight times a year to determine the federal funds target rate. As previously stated, this rate influences the effective federal funds rate through open market operations or by buying and selling of government bonds (government debt).(2) More specifically, the Federal Reserve decreases liquidity by selling government bonds, thereby raising the federal funds rate because banks have less liquidity to trade with other banks. Similarly, the Federal Reserve can increase liquidity by buying government bonds, decreasing the federal funds rate because banks have excess liquidity for trade. Whether the Federal Reserve wants to buy or sell bonds depends on the state of the economy. If the FOMC believes the economy is growing too fast and inflation pressures are inconsistent with the dual mandate of the Federal Reserve, the Committee may set a higher federal funds rate target to temper economic activity. In the opposing scenario, the FOMC may set a lower federal funds rate target to spur greater economic activity. Therefore, the FOMC must observe the current state of the economy to determine the best course of monetary policy that will maximize economic growth while adhering to the dual mandate set forth by Congress. In making its monetary policy decisions, the FOMC considers a wealth of economic data, such as: trends in prices and wages, employment, consumer spending and income, business investments, and foreign exchange markets.
The federal funds rate is the central interest rate in the U.S. financial market. It influences other interest rates such as the prime rate, which is the rate banks charge their customers with higher credit ratings. Additionally, the federal funds rate indirectly influences longer- term interest rates such as mortgages, loans, and savings, all of which are very important to consumer wealth and confidence.(2)
(1) Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "Federal funds." Fedpoints, August 2007.
(2) Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Monetary Policy".
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Federal Funds Effective Rate [FEDFUNDS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FEDFUNDS, June 2, 2023.