Where Are the Men?

June 24, 2013

Before long, it may be unnecessary to warn employees not to engage in office romances because men seem to be disappearing from the workforce.

Over the last sixty years, men have consistently been dropping out of the workforce and this started to happen long before house-husbands came into vogue. In fact, during most of those years, men still thought that a woman’s place was in the home. Many men still do.

There are several theories about why women are starting to outnumber men; I don’t know if I agree with them but they make interesting concepts to consider.

Some of the theories are that some men went to prison and weren’t able to get a job after they had served their sentence. Others are on disability and they prefer to be on the dole rather than get a job. And still others can’t find jobs and have simply given up looking.

They cite all the statistics of educated white-collar workers vs. uneducated blue-collar workers, skilled workers leaving the unskilled workers behind.

If you were a blue-collar worker, there were construction jobs you could get, but with the housing market down, there is less demand for new homes so there are fewer jobs for construction workers. You used to be able to get factory jobs but nowadays, our manufacturing jobs have gone overseas and there is less demand for factory workers.

I don’t dispute these claims but I think there are other factors that shouldn’t be overlooked. One of these reasons is the inequality of pay.

Employers have found that it is cheaper to hire women because they earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar. Many of them are desperate to get a job and hold onto it because they are single mothers and they have small children to feed. And because they don’t have a partner, they are also more afraid to ask for pay raises or to air their grievances in case they are fired and lose the only income they have.

There is also the factor that many men have gotten more self-indulgent, with more entitlement issues than ever before and don’t want to work very hard for their money.

Until women are earning the same wages for the same full-time employment, we probably won’t be able to validate the true cause for the male dropout rate in the job market.

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