The Slow Disappearance of the American Working Man

By Fed Up
Sat.08 27 11

With all this going on today about the unemployed it is hard to believe that any one will have a job in the future unless they get large Manufacturing back in this Country, because there is not enough jobs for even the College Graduate today, they can’t even come up with any Companies that will come up with full-time work, you can not blame them for not hiring because of the way the Government is handling this Economy.

We have an inexperienced Government running this Country that need to go down on the street to under stand who the American people really are, but you can never know what is going on sitting behind closed doors thinking that they know what is going on shows a poor Education, and that they are NOTHING more than YUPPIES on the wannabe list, and with what they are worth, they fall in to that class of YUPPIE and don’t care about, as they say the poor people who are stupid and have to be hand-held or they would not know what to do.


By Mike Dorning
Thursday, August 25, 2011

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A smaller share of men have jobs today than at any time since World War II

As President Barack Obama puts together a new jobs plan to be revealed shortly after Labor Day, he is up against a powerful force, long in the making,that has gone virtually unnoticed in the debate over how to put people back to work:Employers are increasingly giving up on the American man.

If that sounds bleak, it’s because it is. The portion of men who work and   their median wages have been eroding since the early 1970s. For decades the   impact of this fact was softened in many families by the increasing number of   women who went to work and took up the slack. More recently, the housing bubble   helped to mask it by boosting the male-dominated construction trades, which   employed millions. When real estate ultimately crashed, so did the prospects for   many men. The portion of men holding a job—any job, full- or part-time—fell to   63.5 percent in July—hovering stubbornly near the low point of 63.3 percent it   reached in December 2009. These are the lowest numbers in statistics going back   to 1948. Among the critical category of prime working-age men between 25 and 54,   only 81.2 percent held jobs, a barely noticeable improvement from its low point   last year—and still well below the depths of the 1982-83 recession, when   employment among prime-age men never dropped below 85 percent. To put those   numbers in perspective, consider that in 1969, 95 percent of men in their prime   working years had a job.

Men who do have jobs are getting paid less. After accounting for inflation,   median wages for men between 30 and 50 dropped 27 percent—to $33,000 a year—   from 1969 to 2009, according to an analysis by Michael Greenstone, a   Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor who was chief   economist for Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. “That takes men and puts   them back at their earnings capacity of the 1950s,” Greenstone says. “That has   staggering implications.”

What is going on here? For one thing, women, who have made up a majority of   college students for three decades and now account for 57 percent, are adapting   better to a data-driven economy that values education and collaborative skills   more than muscle. That isn’t to say women have yet eclipsed men in the   workplace. They continue to earn about 16 percent less than men and struggle   against gender discrimination and career interruptions as they   disproportionately take time away from the job to raise children. And both men   and women have confronted job losses in the weak economy. In July, 68.9 percent   of women aged 25-54 had jobs, vs. 72.8 percent in January 2008. (In 1969,   however, fewer than half did.) After a long decline in men’s work opportunities,   the recession worsened things with a sharp drop in male employment. Unemployed   men are now more likely than women to be among the long-term jobless.

The economic downturn exacerbated forces that have long been undermining men   in the workplace, says Lawrence Katz, a Harvard professor of labor economics.   Corporations have cut costs by moving manufacturing jobs, routine computer   programming, and even simple legal work out of the country. The production jobs   that remain are increasingly mechanized and demand higher skills. Technology and   efforts to reduce the number of layers within corporations are leaving fewer   middle-management jobs.

The impact has been greatest on moderately skilled men, especially those   without a college education, though even men with bachelor’s degrees from less   selective schools are beginning to see their position erode. “There’s really   been this polarization in the middle,” Katz says, as men at the top of the   education and income scale see their earnings rise while those in the middle   gravitate downward.

For generations, American workers kept up with technological change by   achieving higher levels of education than their parents. High school education   became the norm as the country progressed from an agrarian society to an   industrial one. After World War II, increasing numbers of Americans went to   college as the economy became more complex. But for reasons not fully   understood, college graduation rates essentially stopped growing for men in the   late 1970s, shortly after the Vietnam War ended, perhaps in part because draft   deferments were no longer an inducement. Women, on the other hand, continued to   pursue college degrees in greater numbers and have been more responsive to the   changing economy in other ways, taking many of the nursing and technician   positions in the expanding health-care industry and making greater headway in   service jobs.

While unemployment is an ordeal for anyone, it still appears to be more   traumatic for men. Men without jobs are more likely to commit crimes and go to   prison. They are less likely to wed, more likely to divorce, and more likely to   father a child out of wedlock. Ironically, unemployed men tend to do even less   housework than men with jobs and often retreat from family life, says W.   Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of   Virginia.

The long-term fix is simple to spell out and tough to achieve: getting more   men to attend college and improving the skills of those who don’t. Reducing   financial barriers to higher education would be a start. But there isn’t much   political appetite for spending the billions it would take to make that happen.   Even once-sacred Pell Grants are on the block as Washington looks for budget   cuts. A strapped public education system that leaves many young men unprepared   for the workplace, let alone college, doesn’t help. It’s noteworthy but not   especially comforting to know that this is not just an American problem. The   same gender differences in college attendance and employment are emerging in   rich societies around the world.

Grappling with these intractable problems won’t likely be Obama’s top   priority. He is under pressure to do something that will be felt now, not a   generation from now. The longer people who are currently unemployed remain out   of work, the more their skills will atrophy and the greater the risk of a cohort   of men—and women—who become permanently detached from the workplace. Anything   that raises employment overall would help. Obama is expected to propose tax   incentives for employers to hire workers, a reduction in payroll taxes employers   pay, and spending on infrastructure. Money for labor-intensive projects, such as   retrofitting buildings for energy conservation or refurbishing aging schools,   would be especially effective in putting men back to work in construction—though   Washington is likely in no mood to pay for that either.

Other ideas that economists have proposed are geared toward keeping men with   diminished opportunities from drifting out of the workforce altogether. They   include reducing unemployment-benefits extensions for those who have been out of   work for a year or more—to give those who are getting by on an unemployment   check a stronger incentive to take a job, even if it’s not the most desirable   one. Others have proposed modifying the Social Security disability insurance   system so that it is no longer an all-or-nothing proposition and instead   subsidizes employers for hiring workers with partial disabilities. Since 1970,   the fraction of 25- to 60-year-old men on disability has more than doubled, from   2.4 percent to 5 percent. Once they begin receiving disability payments, few   return to work.

If there is any upside to recessions, it’s that they tend to expose deep   problems that go ignored or at least overlooked in better times. The short-term   fixes the President proposes may provide much needed relief for the millions of   people looking for a job. The danger is that the fixes will work just well   enough to let us pretend—for a while longer—that the real problem is no longer   there.

<img width=1 height=1 alt=”” src=”″&gt;The bottom line: As women saw workplace gains in recent   decades—68 percent of those 25 to 54 have jobs—men’s prospects have   diminished.

Categories: America, Democrats, Health, Money, People, Politics, Republicans, Taxes, Unemployed | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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