Are Millennial Men Slackers? Here’s Another Look.

Yesterday I took up the critical question of whether millennial men really are slackers. Their unemployment rate is pretty normal these days, but I also wanted to check out their employment rate compared to an older generation. I couldn’t quite find what I wanted, but a reader nudged me to try harder, and I eventually found the BLS data I needed. Here it is:

As we know, the employment-population ratio for men has been declining steadily for decades. The question is, is it declining faster for young men than for older men? The answer is no: both are declining at exactly the same rate. Back in the 70s, young men had a higher employment ratio than middle-aged men by about 1 percentage point. Today, they also have a higher employment ratio by about 1 percentage point.

So purely in terms of having a job, today’s young men are about the same as young men half a century ago. There’s no evidence of an increase in slackerism.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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