Podcast #365: Why Are 7 Million Men Missing From the Workforce?

For the past few decades, there’s been an intense focus on getting more women in the workplace and helping them thrive and succeed. At the same time, however, a silent problem has emerged that could have serious repercussions on our economy and society: more and more men have been dropping out of the workforce.

My guest today is an economist with the American Enterprise Institute who has written a book highlighting what he calls an “invisible crisis.” His name is Nicholas Eberstadt and his book is Men Without Work. Today on the show, Nicholas delves into the research that shows that while unemployment is down, the number of men actually working or looking for work is lower than a generation ago. We then delve into some of the possible causes of the disappearance of men from the workforce, what these non-working men are doing while they’re not working, and how they’re supporting themselves without a job. Nicholas then discusses the possible economic and societal problems that this growing number of non-working men create, and what we can do on a micro and macro level to encourage men to be self-reliant and industrious. 

Show Highlights

  • Why the topic of men in the workplace is what Nick calls “an invisible crisis” 
  • The difference between employed, unemployed, and out of the labor force
  • Where unemployment statistics come from, and their reporting history 
  • How many men of prime working wage aren’t working?
  • Is this problem unique to America? 
  • What is going on in America that’s taking men out of the workforce?
  • How convicted felons who are no longer in prison impact the workforce 
  • What are non-working men doing with their time?
  • The economic and social ramifications of a disengaged population of men
  • The education level of men not in the labor force 
  • How are these men supporting themselves? What does their living situation look like?
  • Is this a solvable problem?
  • Why Nick decided not to include many solution ideas in his book (and the few that he did)
  • The role of faith and family in helping out these men who aren’t in the workforce 
  • Is there anything the individual listener can do? 

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