The Atlantic

Where Have All the Men Without College Degrees Gone?

Economists are trying to understand the steady decline of non-college-educated men in the labor market.
Source: G. Merrill / Getty

In the late 1960s, almost all prime-working-age men, typically defined as 25 to 54, worked—nearly . That figure had dipped to 85 percent by 2015—a decline most acutely felt among men without college degrees. The trend of men dropping out of the labor force, particularly non-college-educated men, has been building for more than six decades. It has been a slow withdrawal, but a steady one—a flow that began with a sharp decline in opportunities for men who dropped

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic2 min read
Free Solo Is Not a Life Lesson
Alex Honnold’s historic climb is too extraordinary to become a story of motivational-poster determination.
The Atlantic2 min readPolitics
Chris Christie’s Debate Tips
Few Americans know what it’s like to stand on stage for a nationally televised presidential debate. And the few who do have strong partisan biases. With both of those things in mind, I listened Monday as Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
The Shaky Underpinnings of Trumpian Diplomacy
When he ran for president, Donald Trump said he wasn’t going to telegraph his moves to America’s adversaries. He’s been doing just that. He said he wouldn’t draw “red lines” and then ignore them. That’s happening, too. He vowed the United States on h