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Little Employment Joy for Men on Father’s Day 2013

June 14, 2013

As Father’s Day (June 16) and the third anniversary of the Obama Administration declaration of the start of “Recovery Summer” (June 17) approach, it’s worth reviewing how men have been faring in the Obama economy.  As the graphs below indicate, the answer is not well – especially for men in their prime working years who are the most likely to have young families to support this Father’s Day.

“Part of what’s happening is that more men have been getting laid off and are having difficulty finding work,” notes Sarah Jane Glynn, an analyst with the liberal Center for American Progress.  “And with the way the recovery’s played out, some men who lost their jobs wound up taking others that paid less.”

The overall unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in May 2013, while the unemployment rate for men rose to 7.9 percent.  These data points contrast sharply with the 5.1 percent unemployment rate the Obama Administration first predicted for this month when it was promoting its stimulus policies.  According to one of the Administration’s former economic strategists, Jared Bernstein, that would be better than “full employment.”  Unfortunately, we’re not even close to that level today.

The following charts provide more detail about what is actually happening with men between the ages of 25 and 54, who are the most likely to celebrate Father’s Day with their sons and daughters this Sunday:

  • Figure 1 shows how overall employment among men in their prime working years remains stuck near post-recession lows.  At 50.6 million, today’s male employment level remains almost four million below the pre-recession peak of 54.5 million.
  • Figures 2a and 2b show how even for men in this group who are working, increasingly it is in a part-time and not a full time job, a trend that many believe ObamaCare will make worse.  
  • Figure 3 shows how a record share of men in their prime working years are not even trying to find work, as the labor force participation rate remains near all-time lows four years after the official end of the 2007-09 recession.  Today, a record one-in-nine prime age males is not participating in the labor force at all.
Figure 1. Number of Men Employed, 25-54 Years of Age (seasonally adjusted)

Figure 2a. Number of Men Working Full Time, 25-54 Years of Age (not seasonally adjusted)

Figure 2b. Number of Men Working Part Time, 25-54 Years of Age (not seasonally adjusted)

Figure 3. Male Labor Force Participation Rate, 25-54 Years of Age (seasonally adjusted)

Note: All figures from U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.