American Proscenium

The Jobs Go Out, Like the Tide

The stagnant economy remains the central concern of most Americans.  Although the financial crisis of 2008 had repercussions around the world, the brunt of the job loss was felt here: The International Monetary Fund estimates that one out of every four jobs lost as a result of the financial crash of 2008 was lost in America.  And many of those who lost their jobs then have not gotten new work.  The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers recently released a study showing that only one out of four of those laid off since 2008 have found full-time work, and half of the new jobs pay less than the jobs that were lost.

Particularly hard hit have been men without college degrees.  On August 25, 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article by Mike Dorning entitled “The Slow Disappearance of the American Working Man.”  The statistics Dorning relates are dire.  Only 63.5 percent of American men have jobs, very near the low recorded in 2009, which was the lowest level of male participation in the labor force since these statistics were first kept in 1948.  The number of men working in their prime working years (between 25 and 54) is just 81.2 percent.  By contrast, 97 percent of men between 30 and 50 were working in 1967.  And working-class American men have grown poorer since the 1960’s: The median real wage for men declined 27 percent between 1969 and 2009.

Men...

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