Men at work: a marked decline in the economy

Has the decline of manufacturing jobs affected the marriage market? A new study says yes, and it’s bad news for many men.

Right-thinking people were outraged recently when a billboard appeared in North Carolina reading: “Real men provide. Real women appreciate it.”

At first glance, it does appear outside the norms of 21st century America. But it’s an opportunity to examine a trend holding back the economy. The civilian labor force participation rate by men stood at 69.3 percent in January, down from 73.1 percent before the Great Recession. It was more than 87 percent in the late 1940s.

By contrast, the overall labor force participation rate was 62.9 percent vs. 66 percent before the recession and 56.8 percent for women, the latter barely changed. While many factors are behind the decline, including baby boomers fortunate enough to retire (or be made obsolete), the…

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