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Justin Fox

The 'War on Men' in the Workplace

Changes at work since the 1970s have hit men much harder than women.
The battlefield.

The battlefield.

Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 5.1 million professional drivers of assorted motor vehicles (that's leaving out boats, trains and trolleys) in the U.S. Eighty-nine percent of them are men.

If and when driving is automated, most of those jobs will probably disappear. And it's not as if wiping out male-dominated occupations is anything new. Manufacturing, in which men currently hold 73 percent of the jobs, employed 13.7 million men in June 1979 and 9 million in February.  That's 4.7 million jobs gone over a period during which the male population grew by almost 50 million.

Women's manufacturing employment has actually seen a somewhat steeper decline, from 5.8 million to 3.4 million, in part because of the near wipeout of apparel manufacturing in the U.S. And there are other female-dominated industries that have suffered -- travel agencies went from employing 136,200 women in October 2000 to 64,800 in January. But on the whole, changes in the workplace since the 1970s have hit men much harder than women: