Is the Recession Redefining American Masculinity?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Real Cost of Unemployment (Flickr user airport (cc: by-nc-sa)/flickr)

Economists consider workers between 25 and 54 to be in their prime, and though America follows the national unemployment figures each month, a better indicator of economic health is the percentage of 25- to 54-year-olds who are working. When it comes to America’s men, the figures aren’t good. Fewer prime-age men are working than at any point since 1948.

That means America’s workforce is going through a dramatic shift. And so is the definition of the family breadwinner.

Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, explains what the depressed employment figures mean about America’s prime-age workforce. Aaron Traister, a columnist who writes about masculinity, explains how the recession has impacted America’s men. He’s writing a book on the topic.

Guests:

Heidi Shierholz and Aaron Traister

Produced by:

John Light and Mythili Rao

Comments [3]

Western listener

The question that was not asked, but should have is why are fewer people willing to relocate for employment? There are jobs for young men going unfilled, but they would require leaving the eastern urban centers for other parts of the country. What's holding these young men in places where there are fewer jobs?

May. 31 2012 12:32 PM
listener

Of course the administration's war on business and growth have nothing to do with any of this or does he only get credit for positive news?

How about exploring what Obama meant by "fundamental transformation" and is it really happening and is this what we bargained for in 2008?

May. 31 2012 09:38 AM
anna from new york

I turned on the radio when some woman was babbling about age or not age.
I turned on the radio to "report" my most recent experience with male employment in America and elsewhere.
Yesterday, I called TIAA-CREF to discuss a certain issue. While waiting a moment for a human on the other side to respond, I was thinking that although TIAA outsourced job nationally, moving headquarters from New York somewhere South, they didn't outsource everything. Well.. the other side responded ... with an Indian accent. It was the first time. We're are "progressing."
Again, what was this woman babbling?

May. 31 2012 09:23 AM

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