Yesterday I took up the critical question of whether millennial men really are slackers. Their unemployment rate is pretty normal these days, but I also wanted to check out their employment rate compared to an older generation. I couldn’t quite find what I wanted, but a reader nudged me to try harder, and I eventually found the BLS data I needed. Here it is:
As we know, the employment-population ratio for men has been declining steadily for decades. The question is, is it declining faster for young men than for older men? The answer is no: both are declining at exactly the same rate. Back in the 70s, young men had a higher employment ratio than middle-aged men by about 1 percentage point. Today, they also have a higher employment ratio by about 1 percentage point.
So purely in terms of having a job, today’s young men are about the same as young men half a century ago. There’s no evidence of an increase in slackerism.