Labor force participation rate still low

The April employment numbers are causing some relief among economy-watchers with an increase of 165,000 new jobs and a slightly down tick in the unemployment rate to 7.5%. But, as I pointed out last month (and others have commented upon since), the size of the labor force is not growing and the labor force participation rate is stuck at a 35 year low. The labor force participation rate actually peaked in 2000, long before the Great Recession (although it started its steep decline then).
So I repeat my questions from last month. Are we seeing a reversal of the historic trend of a growing labor force due to greater participation? Is a lower labor force participation rate the new normal? And what does that mean for future economic growth?
Labor force - through 4-2013.png
Labor force participation rate - through 4-2013.png

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