While “unemployment” is down, work rates have also fallen — and the male work rate is now at Depression-era levels. AEI invites you to the launch of Nicholas Eberstadt’s new book “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis,” an important new study of an underreported phenomenon: America’s growing army of un-working men.
On Tuesday at AEI, AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt presented his new book “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis” (Templeton Press, September 2016). David Wessel of the Brookings Institution joined Dr. Eberstadt to discuss the findings.
Since the 1940s, the work rate (employment-to-population ratio) for men decreased, with 7 million men out of the labor force today. Dr. Eberstadt recognized that both supply and demand causes affect this trend, including institutional barriers, welfare policy, structural unemployment, and motivational factors. Mr. Wessel prompted everyone to consider how much of this trend is caused by the supply or the demand, citing changes in America’s manufacturing sector and the skills necessary for employment.
To examine this question, Dr. Eberstadt called for perspectives from across the political aisle and pointed to the need for further research, including studying the performance of ex-felons trying to enter the labor force and tracking disability payments that may be financing un-working lifestyle.
–Cecilia Joy Perez
The stock market — and US personal wealth holdings — continue to set new records. The United States is now at or near “full employment,” at least according to received wisdom. But a closer look at the data reveals something else entirely. While “unemployment” is down, work rates have also fallen — and the male work rate is now at Depression-era levels. Today, 7 million men age 24 to 54 are neither working nor looking for work. The collapse of work for men, indeed, appears to be at the center of many of America’s current social and economic woes. Read the rest of this entry »