Young Men Fall to the Bottom of the Income Ladder Where Serfs Used to Be


Young men might not be serfs but they are falling to the bottom of the economic ladder, behind women. The young in general are living with their parents until much later in life, especially men. Growing up and living independently comes later in life. All things being equal, young men are not.

Maybe it’s time to talk about equality for men.

One in four young adults are at home and idle. They don’t work or go to school.

Declining employment, declining marriage and rising college enrollment have contributed to  a changing society that has put young men into a stagnant work situation in the United States. Young Americans are putting off marriage until much later in life. Marriage is often traded for cohabitation. Blacks in particular have a much lower chance of marrying.

Reports put out by NPR in 2014 cite income inequality as the cause but this study points to other factors.

Young women (18-34) are climbing the economic ladder as more go to college and join the workforce, but the workforce for young men (18-34), making between $30,000 and $100,000 a year, shrank significantly. This is the case even if they are better educated and working full time at the same rate. There has been a push to give women the edge in securing jobs.

This is according to a new analysis published by the government census department.

  • More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder. In 1975, only 25 percent of men, aged 25 to 34, had incomes of less than $30,000 per year. By 2016, that share rose to 41 percent of young men. (Incomes for both years are in 2015 dollars.)
  • At the same time, between 1975 and 2016, the share of young women who were homemakers fell from 43 percent to 14 percent of all women aged 25 to 34.

Blue collar jobs are often performed by machines and foreigners, forcing young men into low-wage jobs in the service industry. Some just quit looking for jobs. At the same time, manufacturing and other lower-skilled jobs have disappeared.

Marriage and having children aren’t high on the list for the young who value education and economic security more. Many young people live with their parents much longer.

Jobs that are growing fastest are those attractive to women, such as those in the healthcare field.

Wages have stagnated for workers of all ages. The cost of living is rising and student debt has skyrocketed. Men, even college-educated men, are forced into contract and part time work, according to the analysis of the data.

It can pigeon hole young men into a lifetime of depressed wages when their early and prime earning years are in low-wage jobs.

Wall Street is doing well and still serves as a lucrative path for young men.

Even though youth say economic security is an important concern, most don’t have a problem living at home until late in life. Dependency is fine. The only thing more important to the youth is education.

In 2005, the majority of young adults lived independently in their own household, which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. A decade later, by 2015, the number of states where the majority of young people lived independently fell to just six. That took place under the later Bush years and the Obama years.

From 1968 to 2007, the number of young adults living at home had been relatively constant, a Pew Research analysis states.

Pew also states that other household arrangements of young adults changed dramatically during this period. For example, the share who were married and living with a spouse fell from 56% in 1968 to 27% in 2007. And the share who were living with a roommate or child or were cohabiting with a partner increased nearly fivefold (from 5.5% to 26%).

Of young people living in their parents’ home, 1 in 4 are idle, that, is they neither go to school nor work. This figure represents about 2.2 million 25- to 34-year-olds. The Sentinel thinks they are busy rioting in the streets asking for freebies. 



The census analysis uses two surveys from the U.S. Census Bureau to look at the demographic and economic characteristics of young adults: the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS). It uses a third data source, the General Social Survey (GSS), to look at beliefs, attitudes, and values that Americans have about adulthood.



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