In this Nov. 20, 2018 file photo, a U.S. flag flies outside New York Stock Exchange. Stocks fell in early trading on Wall Street Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, as investors worry that the U.S. and China will fail to make a trade deal before the year is over. | Mary Altaffer, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Despite a strong labor market, many American men are leaving the workforce altogether.

The current economic expansion is the longest in U.S. history, and unemployment has remained at or below 4% for nearly two years and continues to fall. Yet the employment-to-population ratio — that is, what share of adults has a job and what share does not — for men ages 25 to 54 is at its lowest in decades, Sen. Mike Lee said.

“I’m concerned that if more men can’t find stable, steady work, the result is likely to be fewer marriages, in the first instance, and more divorces, in the second instance,” the Utah Republican said during a Joint Economic Committee hearing this week titled, “Connecting More People to Work.”

It’s also likely, he said, that as marriage rates fall, men will feel less of a need to be breadwinners and involved with their children, which in turn would lead to more unemployment and less stable family lives.

Oren Cass, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, agreed with Lee’s assessment, calling it a vicious cycle where declining employment opportunities harm family formation and devaluing families harms economic engagement.

The current 18% rate of “prime-age” men lacking full-time work is larger than the share at any time during the recessions of 1990–91 and 2001, he said.

Despite the current low unemployment rate and an economy that is widely considered to be at full employment, a disproportionate number of working-age men have dropped out of …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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