Over the past 40 years, men have dropped out of the workforce in increasing numbers, especially less educated men. Employment of men with only high school diplomas has fallen considerably — from a high of 97 percent in 1967 to just 76 percent today. The Great Recession exacerbated these employment trends: employment fell nearly 8 percentage points for men with high school diplomas since 2007, while employment of men with bachelor’s degrees fell just 3 percentage points. The factors behind this declining employment trend for American men are complicated. What is clear, however, is that the increase in the number of higher-skilled workers in the United States has slowed at the very same time that the rewards to staying in school longer — more job opportunities, higher wages, and better benefits — have increased.
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