I came across several discussions on the shortage of male workers in America, and I found headlines like: “Millions of Men Missing from the Labor Force,” (Fox News).
Naturally we should all be asking why men are missing from the workforce and not women.
The reports suggest several causes for this labor shortage: lack of job training, criminal background checks, living on welfare, videogames, "gender phobia" according to the National Review, because we are failing to "valorize male work." Articles in the Atlantic and the Seattle Times mention that the high number of men who are unemployed was due to disability.
Even President Obama issued a statement on the decline of the male labor force when he was in office. (June 2016, The Long-Term Decline in Prime-Age Male Labor Force Participation, Office of the President of the United States) https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20160620_cea_primeage_male_lfp.pdf
June 22, 2017, Bloomberg.com: The World’s Workers Have Bigger Problems Than a Robot Apocalypse
The big problem today is too few workers, not too many. Maine is so short of help that the governor conditionally commuted sentences of 17 state prisoners in May, in part so that they could take jobs. Michael Feroli, the chief U.S. economist of JPMorgan Chase & Co., headlined a research note, “The labor market’s getting tighter than a rusted lug nut.”…
Dimon points to the “staggering” decline in labor force participation by men of prime working age, 25 to 54. “There’s something wrong,” he said in a conference call with reporters on June 6.
June 14, 2017, Napa Valley (CA) Register: Due to labor shortage, female workers are a growing presence in Napa vineyards
Over the past few years scenes like this have become increasingly common, defining the transformation of a vineyard workforce, plagued by labor shortage and fewer male workers, that has coped by taking on women workers at an unprecedented rate, not only at Renteria, but across Napa and throughout the entire state.
June 7, 2017, Fox Business News: Jamie Dimon on America's big problem: Millions of men missing from labor market |
Don’t tell J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon the U.S. lacks enough people to fill open jobs and get the U.S. economy moving faster in the long run.
The banking VIP and current chairman of the Business Roundtable told reporters this week that America has a big problem: millions of prime-aged men have dropped out of the labor force.
Dimon pointed out the share of men ages 25 to 54 who are considered part of the labor force has declined to around 88% from as high as 97% a half-century ago. In effect, about 10 million men have gone missing.
That one figure alone, he suggested, shows the U.S. labor market is not as tight as it appears despite a 4.3% unemployment rate that’s at a 16-year low.
“That’s not demographics, folks. That’s a huge number,” Dimon said Tuesday in a conference call hosted by the round table. “There is something wrong.”
March 22, 2017, The Atlantic: Maybe the Economy Isn't the Reason Why So Many American Men Aren't Working
Many experts have blamed a poor job market, but new research indicates that an overlooked cause may be poor health.
...In 1957, 97 percent of men in America ages 25 to 54 were either working or looking for work. Today, only 89 percent are.
...In a 2016 report, President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers examined the declining labor-force participation rate and suggested that a drop-off in good jobs for low-skilled men was part of the explanation. Wages, the report theorized, are so low for many jobs that don’t require a college education that men don’t find it worth it to seek out bad jobs. A lack of job training and job-search assistance—when compared to other OECD countries—makes it more difficult for men to move into more lucrative fields. And a surge in incarceration has made it more difficult for men to find work when they leave prison, according to the report.
...First, that as social welfare programs have gotten more generous, they’ve lured men away from trying to find a job, and, second, that a large share of the men who are not working are ones with criminal records who have not been able to find a job, and have thus given up.
...But there’s another theory that deserves mentioning, especially because it fits with recent research about the declining health outcomes among American men. That theory suggests that American men are dropping out of the workforce because they are suffering from serious health conditions that make it difficult for them to work. As their health deteriorates, they’re getting on pain medications, which then make it even more difficult to re-enter the workforce.
Princeton economist Alan Krueger argued this theory late last year at a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and in an October 2016 paper circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research. In his research, he found that almost half of working-age men who were not in the labor force were taking pain medication on a daily basis, and that two-thirds of those men were taking prescription medication.
November 23, 2016, Seattle Times: Why men of prime age aren’t in the labor force
Economists say increased globalization and the decline in factory jobs play a major role in pushing prime-age men, particularly those with less education, out of the workforce. But that doesn’t explain why the problem is worse in the U.S. than in most other advanced nations. ...
Too many men in their prime don’t have a job and aren’t even looking for one. Experts trying to figure out the reasons are probing the roles of criminal background checks, painkillers and even video games. ...
A little more than half of the men reported they were ill or disabled, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 14 percent are going to school. And about 20 percent said they were either retired or handling home responsibilities.
October 7, 2016, National Review: The Crisis of Masculinity
Almost one out of four men of prime working age (25–54) are not working. Since 1948, the percentage of men aged 20 to 64 who aren’t working has doubled. Fewer working-age men are working today than in 1930, in the heart of the Great Depression.
Most of this decline, however, has taken place since 1965. Between 1965 and 2015, the share of working-age men who are jobless more than doubled, from 10 percent to 22 percent. Among “prime age” men, the percentage without jobs shot from 6 percent to nearly 16 percent. Some of these men are in training or education programs. But the vast majority of men in this age range who are receiving training or are in school are job holders, working part-time or working full-time and going to school part-time.
June 21, 2016, Brookings Institution: Where are the nonworking prime-age men?
...The CEA [Council of Economic Advisors] report documents a number of possible explanations for this trend, including increasing rates of women in the workforce, rising disability insurance claims, falling demand for less-skilled workers, and barriers to employment for those with criminal records.
THERE’S MORE TO CONSIDER
This all makes sense, if you think about it. We’ve had several decades where predominately boys are labeled with autism, boys being four times more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder than girls. And while I’m not saying that this is the only factor behind the decline of male workers, it’s certainly a possibility.
These are the facts:
When it comes to grades and homework, girls outperform boys in elementary, secondary, high school, college, and even graduate school;
Boys are four to five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD);
Women outnumber men in higher education with 56 percent of bachelor's degrees and 55 percent of graduate degrees going to women.
According to the U.S. Department of Education:
Boys make up two-thirds of the students in special education and are five times more likely to be classified as hyperactive.
Oct 26, 2016, TheEdAdvocate: Black Boys in Crisis: Why Are So Many of Them in Special Education?
Oct 23, 2013, UK Telegraph: Boys 'much more likely to be labelled with special needs'
May 22, 2013, Fordham Institute:
A similarly disproportionate number of boys populate the specific disabled categories. In fact, every single category except one (deaf-blindness) has more boys than girls. The bullets below, and as displayed in chart 1, present the male-female percentages for the state’s top five special education categories, by student enrollment in 2011-12:
Specific learning disabilities: 64,130 boys (61 percent of this group) and 41,133 girls (39 percent);
Other health impaired – minor: 23,923 boys (70 percent) and 10,152 girls (30 percent);
Speech and language impairments: 21,361 boys (67 percent) and 10,340 girls (33 percent);
Cognitive Disabilities (mental retardation): 14,887 boys (58 percent) and 10,852 girls (42 percent);
Autism: 13,816 boys (85 percent) and 2,485 girls (15 percent).
(Notice that it’s not only boys who end up in sped, it’s specifically black males. That makes a person think of the 2004 vaccine study that showed black males were much more susceptible to MMR injury than white boys.)
After the male student takeover in sped in the last two decades, is it any surprise that we’re missing a big segment of the adult male workforce?
Despite the fact that officials have more concern about measles in Minneapolis than the generation of sick and disabled children growing into adulthood, they not going away. In the coming years they will massively change the demographics of the U.S. The “better diagnosing, greater awareness” explanation that was used to cover up the autism epidemic will have to be expanded to somehow include the missing male workers and all the dependent adults filling group homes across America.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.