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News Working Age Men Have Disappeared from Labor Force

  1. Nov 3, 2016 #1
    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/video/why-working-age-men-disappeared-194401189.html

    What's going on with this?

    Is it not wanting to work or not wanting to work for low wages...or something else?
     
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  3. Nov 3, 2016 #2

    Drakkith

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    Almost certainly it is both of those along with many other factors. I'd venture a guess and say it's a bit more socially acceptable to not get a job now than it was in the past.
     
  4. Nov 3, 2016 #3
    I don't know. I guess I haven't seen anyone in my social circles think: "Hey, that's totally cool that Jake over there is sitting at home, watching TV, playing video games, and not working or going to school at age 27." Maybe if they're 19-20/yo or so (like taking a year off from hs to college), but the video said 25-50 y/o's in prime working age were donig this. That's kind of different and scary.

    I know stay-at-home dads are much more acceptable these days and I also see that as work, because being a parent basically IS work. But they're talking about not even doing that and not volunteering (I did that when I wasn't working part-time - parents forced me to at first, but I also liked it afterwards) or anything at all.
     
  5. Nov 3, 2016 #4

    jtbell

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    I read about that statistic somewhere else recently. A significant number of them are on disability payments, or hooked on painkillers.
     
  6. Nov 4, 2016 #5
    I've read about the opioid addiction phenomena too. I only wonder where they get money for it if they're not working. Women might prostitute themselves in cases of severe drug addiction to feed their habit, but it's still a little odd to me that men would just not work at all and be able to suppor themselves.
     
  7. Nov 4, 2016 #6

    mheslep

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    Why would you say this? There have always been low wages, always been objections to work. Yet the out of work, working age male has become much more common in the last few years. Why is there no discussion of government disincentives to work? The government initiatives are not state secrets.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2016 #7

    Drakkith

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    Why would I say that they don't want to work, don't want to work for low wages, and/or that there are many other factors?
     
  9. Nov 4, 2016 #8

    russ_watters

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    I would have liked more details about the demographics of those guys, but I guess I may have to buy the book...
    I've met a couple of those guys. The problem is that they need jobs to buy video games and pay for the electricity to run the game systems. So usually they have jobs (though they may not be able to hold on to them...) or are looking for jobs, so they are in the workforce.
    Given that this has been a generations-long change, the rise of women and with it stay at home dads more acceptable, that was my first thought as well. But the author seemed to imply that wasn't the demographic. My next thought was our declining inner-cities, but that's just a guess.
     
  10. Nov 4, 2016 #9
    For older men, not many employers in the US want to hire 50+ men. Many of them might have had good earning jobs in the past but their skills may be outdated. They may have health problems. They might find it difficult to fit in with a younger crowd. As a rule, employers want younger people with experience and at least a 15 to 20 year horizon with the their company. The job seeker, at some point, gets discouraged. It's humiliating to be turned down time afte time when one believes they have something offer.

    If the wife is still working, they have some investment income, and they can rent out a basement apartment to a millennial, they might just be content to stay home and watch movies.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  11. Nov 4, 2016 #10

    Bystander

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    Then find out it's just the "ditch witch."
     
  12. Nov 5, 2016 #11
    That's a really good insight I hadn't thought about. But that'd still be with 50+ year olds.

    It makes more logical sense with that demographic if they're facing age discrimination and yet have made enough money in the past to live off of investments, maybe a min. wage type of job, and/or renting a place out. I actually read somewhere that a very significant percentage of Uber drivers are actually quite "old." I think it was people in their 40's and 50's.

    If a person has a car, then Uber driver is one option. I'm looking into this myself for side income.

    But back to the OP, the author was talking about people ages 25-50. So I wouldn't think age discrimination is a factor. I might just be the entire economy itself being so terrible. I know most of the new job creation has been low-wage jobs.
     
  13. Nov 5, 2016 #12
    What "disincentives" are you referring to, mheslep? We don't really have welfare anymore in America like we did from the New Deal until Bill Clinton axed it.

    Some states like Arizona and Oregon (if I'm not mistaken) only give you one year worth of welfare, before you're maxed out (the federal limit is five years, but it's state-by-state).

    Another scary thing about this is that a country needs tax dollars to support infrastructure, development, etc. And when people don't work in large numbers, then that's also less tax dollars to sustain the country. It could be a vicious cycle kind of thing.

    I personally think we need to invest in better educational opportunities for people (K through college). Count me in the make college free group.
     
  14. Nov 5, 2016 #13

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  15. Nov 5, 2016 #14
    In my experience, age discrimination for non supervisory jobs begins around 40. For supervisors. it might go up to 45-50 or so. Top level executives in the pharmaceutical industry seem to be preferentially recruited in the narrow 45-50 age range.
     
  16. Nov 5, 2016 #15

    mheslep

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    Total US welfare spending is $480B/2017. Most of this goes to unemployment benefits (83B), traditional food security programs (108B), traditional income assistance programs (188B). US per capital welfare spending almost doubled from 2007 to 2010.

    I suppose this kind of notion is why none of the candidates discuss spending or entitlements, the $20T in federal debt.

    Government based welfare (i.e. not Social Security), as it is know now in the US, didn't start with the New Deal, but in the 1960s with the Johnson's 'War on Poverty'. FDR's New Deal relief was relatively insignificant. Earlier, private mutual-aid societies rendered relief.

    Constant dollars, per capita.
    3_1222_1353_1221_1157_1133_1131_1334_1717_2142_1967_1678_1532_1381_1322_1279_1279_1260_1257_1248.png

    'Welfare Spending" as indicated here does not include social security, medicaid, medicare.

    FDR famously had serious reservations about non-job welfare. FDR, annual message to Congress 1935:
    Social Security spending, constant dollars per capita:
    8_1889_1900_1925_1941_2002_2049_2230_2257_2269_2340_2404_2454_2516_2533_2621_2705_2795_2885_2968.png

    Medicare spending, constant dollars per capita:
    46_992_1033_1099_1167_1282_1297_1405_1442_1508_1428_1471_1476_1548_1644_1630_1595_1693_1745_1813.png

    Medicaid spending, constant dollars per capita
    03_984_1077_1142_1125_1126_1158_1223_1308_1375_1347_1400_1451_1529_1560_1649_1704_1760_1780_1822.png
     
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