Unemployed Men: Here to Stay?

by Vault Careers | May 13, 2010

This video comes via the Wall Street Journal, and highlights a major shift in workplace demographics across the country: one in five men aged between 25 and 54 are currently out of work. And, according to the video, that's not likely to improve any time soon: Presidential advisor Larry Summers estimates the ratio will only improve to one in six even after a full recovery.

While the number of men laid off during the downturn was enough that some commenters were dubbing it a "man-cession," this quote from the article accompanying the video suggests that--unlike a recession--there's nothing temporary about the shift:

"This is not one of the many things that can be blamed on subprime lending, inept regulators or Goldman Sachs. 'The Great Recession has reinforced prevailing labor market trends that were under way long before the recession,' David Autor, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist, observed in a recent paper commissioned by two Democratic-leaning think tanks, the Center for American Progress and the Hamilton Project."

Of course, the industries hardest hit by those "prevailing market trends" are typically male-dominated: manufacturing and construction. They're also sectors that typically aren't strong on skills that can be transferred to other industries. One big question as we inch towards economic recovery, then, is where displaced workers from those fields can go to find new opportunities--both figuratively and literally--and what the future holds for the areas of the country where their industries were based.

--Posted by Phil Stott, Vault.com

Filed Under: Job Search


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