Technological advances and globalization are prime reasons why over seven million middle-aged men aged 25-54 are not in the American “labor force.”
It may get even worse. A new report from a Federal Reserve official suggests these men are “unlikely to return to the labor force” based on current trends.
Demographic factors drive their nonparticipation, argues Fed economist Didem Tuzemen, who found that disability or illness was the most common cause of no participation.
However, the economist also pointed to “job polarization,” meaning the decline in demand for “middle-skill” workers caused by technological advances and globalization. The fed economist argues that if it weren’t for these economic and technological shifts, nearly two million more men would have been employed in 2016, or 3.6% more employment of men in this age group.