We are deeply concerned by the crisis of young men dropping out of society. Despite so much bad news, we see many positives in the future. If men come together to support each other, this problem can and will correct itself. With the right support system, young men can achieve tremendous personal growth.
There’s a strange thing happening in the American economy right now—what we read in the newspaper or see on TV doesn’t match what we’re witnessing with our own eyes. Job numbers reported in the media seem wonderful. Amazingly low unemployment that hasn’t been witnessed in 50 years! Hundreds of thousands of new jobs created monthly. Yet for all these rosy numbers, when we look at the real world, we see critically understaffed businesses, long waits for repairs, and customer service in the gutter.
America’s young men are in crisis, and the answer to this problem is spiritual, not economic or political. While the media continues to trumpet good news about the economy, the reason your real-life experiences don’t match such optimism is because these reports typically only give you part of the picture. What corporate media doesn’t tell you is that about 11 million jobs remain unfilled right now.
That’s why service is lousy everywhere and you can’t get a plumber. Those jobs go unfilled because millions of young American men between the ages of 25 and 54 aren’t working. At all. As Bloomberg reports, they’ve been left behind, with a lower percentage of men between those ages working than in 1970 — a statistic that emerged before the economic disaster brought by coronavirus lockdowns.
Millions of Young Men Doing Nothing All Day
So, how can millions of men be out of work when unemployment is extremely low? Easy, if you don’t count them.
Yes, the unemployment rate hovers at a record low figure, but this number doesn’t count all unemployed people. It only includes those who don’t have a job and are actively seeking one. This cheery (and erroneous) unemployment rate doesn’t count the millions of young men who aren’t looking for a job. Young males fitting this description are often referred to as “NEETs,” an acronym originating in the U.K. that stands for “Not in Employment, Education or Training.” These fellows aren’t working and, worse, aren’t interested in work.
Of course, this was already a growing problem in the last decade. But unemployment went full supernova during the coronavirus lockdown — and finally smart people are paying attention to it. Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame recently hosted a podcast discussion on the crisis of young men not working.
To further understand the problem’s depth, Rowe interviewed economist Nicholas Eberstadt, who wrote “Men Without Work.” It explains the seriousness of this issue, documenting how the unemployment crisis goes far beyond simply not having a job. Too many men in their prime have fallen into a hollow existence. And their parents — and our tax dollars — subsidize such incredible waste.
What do such men do with their copious amounts of leisure? According to Eberstadt, they aren’t only not working. They aren’t going to church. They typically aren’t dating. They aren’t engaging in charity work or civic activities either, or even helping with housework.
Instead, they play video games, binge watch TV and movies, and, perhaps most concerningly, abuse drugs. So many young men are not only lost to our economy, but lost to their families as well. They are at risk of becoming another gloomy statistic in the opioid epidemic.