Non-college white men leaving labor force, upset about status

work boots

White men ages 25-54 are leaving the labor force, because their wages are falling, and their social status along with it. This is not happening to women or other demographics. Why is it happening to prime working age non-college graduate white men and not others? Do they feel entitled while other groups don’t, so those groups work harder? And of course, angry working-class men who feel their status is threatened are prime recruiting ground for MAGA and far right ideologies.

The report is from The Federal Reserve, so it can be assumed to be accurate.

The evidence from this study shows that the widening earnings gap between highly and less skilled workers over the last four decades is closely connected with the decreasing labor supply of prime-age men. The cost of skill-biased economic growth may exceed our current understanding if it has weakened the labor market attachment of less skilled men. Because it can change the aggregate labor supply, wage inequality carries macroeconomic implications that extend beyond the well-being of individual workers.

The relationship between labor force exit rate and relative earnings is strongest among non-Hispanic White men and younger men.

Data indicate that more frequent labor force exit among men without a four-year college degree has been driving the decline in the US prime-age (25 to 54) men’s labor force participation rate over the last 40 years.

From 1980 through 2019, non-college-educated men’s relative earnings declined 30 percent on average across occupations and states. A fall in real earnings and a rise in reference earnings each contributed to half of the decline.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.