Fed: Fewer men are participating in the workforce

3 years 11 months 2 days ago Wednesday, December 17 2014 Dec 17, 2014 Wednesday, December 17, 2014 5:28:00 PM CST December 17, 2014 in News
By: Michael Doudna, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Men are becoming more inactive in the workforce, according to data from the Federal Reserve. 

According to the report, 11.5 percent of men aged 25-54 are not working or looking for work. 

The rate seems to grow no matter the economic environment. The inactivity of men has been on the rise since the early 1980's, growing during both the economic boom of the early 2000's and during the great recession. In fact, the rate grew more since the Great Recession than almost any other time period. 

Opinions behind the rise are mixed. Some believe the growing inactivity rate among men is because of the death of male-dominated fields like manufacturing and construction. Others think it is because some potential employees have too high of expectations. Experts say some men are not taking jobs they believe themselves to be overqualified for.

The most popular opinion is a change of outlook. The New York times reported men believe low-wage jobs would not improve their standard of living, and it would be better to just collect unemployment. 

The rise in inactivity rate comes as more and more jobs become available. Low-wage jobs are having trouble filling openings, waiting weeks, sometimes months for a suitable candidate. 

Some of the companies KOMU 8 talked to blamed it on the current administration and social programs like unemployment benefits; however, the male inactivity rate grew during both the Reagan and Bush administrations. 

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