A lot of focus is put on the employment rate by today’s economists. And by their measure, the jobs market is still robust, with unemployment, currently at 3.7%, down near all-time lows.
However, those calculations completely ignore the 100 million US adults categorized as “not in the labor force” who do not work and are not looking for work. That’s pretty much 1 out of every 3 US adults.
A good number of those people are retired or are students. Some are caregivers and some are on disability. But a growing number of them, especially men between 25-54 years old, are voluntarily giving up finding work.
It’s gotten to the point where 1 in 6 prime working age men has no paid work at all.
Economist Nicholas Eberstadt calls the rise of this “non-working class” and the associated despair that comes with it, “America’s invisible crisis”.
Nicholas is the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute and author of the book Men Without Work.
We’re fortunate to speak with him today about the implications of our deteriorating labor force & the most needed reforms to address it.