BY TOM TOTH | JUNE 11, 2014
Help Wanted: One in six men aged 25-54 not working
Five years into Obama's presidency, the United States looks very different than it did in years past.
Over 10.2 million American men between the ages of 25-54 — about seventeen percent of that age group — are not currently working. Two thirds of them have given up on looking for work altogether. As a comparison, in the early 1970s, only seven percent from the same age group was not working.
Of course, the economy has evolved enormously over the last 40 years. Continued globalization along with rapid automation of the industrial sector to compete with international labor costs, have removed many "low-skill" jobs from the economy entirely.
But this problem has been exacerbated by the Obama Administration's penchant for choosing blue collar job destroying regulations over the needs of these middle class workers.
In failing to see that businesses need room to grow, funds to spend, and a stable marketplace in order to take risks like hiring and training labor, the Obama Administration is effectively driving middle aged blue collar male workers out of the workforce.
As a practical example, the Environmental Protection Agency has been issuing egregious carbon regulations onto employers that, alone, are estimated to cost the economy at least 224,000 jobs, and this does not even include Obama's new climate change regulations that are projected to cost the private sector $50 billion a year.
Those 224,000 jobs alone would generate $625 million in incomes for workers if they paid an average of $50,000 a year.
When added to the decision to delay building the Keystone XL pipeline with its projected 20,000 new construction jobs, along with countless other more obscure decisions to use regulations to kill jobs, it is not at all surprising that seventeen percent of men in prime working years are either unemployed or out of the workforce entirely.
The American unemployment problem does not stem from a hyperactive, super-productive economy that's simply left these 10 million men, in the sweet spot of their productive lives, without a job. The problems stem from Obama's systemic attack on blue collar jobs that have resulted in a shrinking economy.
Last quarter the nation's GDP shrunk by one percent. The very nature of that shrinkage renders less demand for business to employ workers, stagnating wages and preventing new employment.
Males aged 25-54 have traditionally been the backbone of a thriving U.S. economy, and their historically high failure to participate in today's economy should be a canary in the mine shaft for all those who care about our nation's future well-being. And unfortunately, at the end of the week, the May jobs report will most likely show that the vast majority of these 10.2 million men aged 25-54 will add another blank month onto their resumes.
There are millions of able-bodied men quite literally waiting for an economy that offers them a chance to prosper and achieve more than the last generation. If Barack Obama and his bureaucratic subordinates wanted to restore their hope, they would get out of the way of the American economy rather than doubling down with even more harsh regulations designed to destroy middle class jobs and opportunity.
Tom Toth is the social media director for Americans for Limited Government.