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.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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