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Justin Fox

Men Aren't Exactly Stampeding Back to Work

Four things could tell us why their labor-force participation remains near historic lows.
Well, of course that's more fun.

Well, of course that's more fun.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

In December, the labor-force participation rate among prime-age men (in English: the percentage of men ages 25 through 54 who either had jobs or were actively looking for one) hit 89 percent for the first time in almost seven years. The fitful revival that began in 2014 or 2015 seems to be continuing.

Still, prime-age-male labor-force participation remains a lot lower than it was when the Great Recession began a decade ago. In fact, it's lower than it's been at any time on record apart from 2009 through 2015.