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Millennial Men Leave Perplexing Hole in Hot U.S. Job Market (bloomberg.com)
56 points by flormmm 76 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 143 comments

> Weary of long days earning minimum wage, he quit his job in a pizzeria in June. He wants new employment but won’t take a gig he’ll hate. So for now, the Pittsburgh native and father to young children is living with his mother and training to become an emergency medical technician, hoping to get on the ladder toward a better life.

Perplexing? The opening of this article gives a pretty straightforward answer: people in that demographic aren't buying the narrative that a minimum-wage job will necessarily come with growth opportunities. So instead of getting pigeon-holed, they are trying to jump into a career with better growth opportunities. Sometimes that requires leaving immediate money on the table.

> All are missing out on a hot labor market and crucial years on the job, ones traditionally filled with the promotions and raises that build the foundation for a career

I agree with you. These jobs might have one day been filled with promotions and raises - but have now been turned into efficiency centers. Automation has drastically increased, required skills and training significantly reduced. There is no path up the chain from these types of jobs. In the absolutely best case, they can't be automated even further out of a job.

The angle here is that minimum wage does not offer sufficient flexibility and access to satisfactory growth opportunities. That's a _feature_ for employers, who do not desire turn-over and training costs, and an _anti-feature_ for employees, who desire a better life.

I don’t think employers cackle at the thought of employees being wage slaves. They are unwilling or think its impossible to offer a living wage so high turnover (e.g. 140% per annum) is just a cost they accept.

They aren't cackling like saturday morning cartoon villains; they're applying a rational choice to minimize operation costs.

This is less true the closer their personal connection to their employees is, I suspect; but many minimum wage employers have a bureaucratic buffer/barrier between the minimum wage employees and those making the decisions about operational costs.

This is called Middle Management, and exists entirely to buffer high level decision makers from day-to-day workers.

Of course it's perplexing:

"Do well in school or you'll end up in a minimum-wage job!"

"Oh, you're too good for a minimum-wage job, are ya? Lazy, entitled Millennial."

See? Perplexing for everyone who said both of those things.

More seriously, it might be perplexing if you assume the "shame" of living with one's parents past the age of eighteen is greater than the negative impact of getting looped into the minimum-wage cycle with no clear way to escape. This further assumes that multi-generational households are... bad... in some indefinable way which doesn't apply to a lot of the rest of the world.

Yep, after working in food and other service for five years after a hard-fought graduation, I'm trying to fight my way into software. Thankfully I'm supported by family or this wouldn't be possible.

Service industry is thankless and harsh, and to top it off low-paying. It's dehumanizing.

But why are women in the same age range employed at a higher rate than before the recession, but not the men?

The article does mention, "They hemorrhaged high-paying jobs after technology and globalization hit manufacturing and mining." Many jobs staffed predominantly by men (as opposed to jobs like nursing, say, staffed predominantly by women) never recovered after the recession.

It's exactly this.

I'm a member of this group.

I was told growing up by first-generation college graduates that any degree was better than no degree. I had persistent doubts, but was told by those same parents year after year before and during college that "You may not want it now, but you won't regret having it in the future."

So not knowing better and not being told any better by the university I attended, I got a history degree and tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. When I graduated in 2012, I was reluctant to leave the town that I grew up in (where there were no jobs, being essentially only a university town) and could only find service sector work. The same baby boomers that told me to put myself in debt to secure a degree now told me that any job was better than no job at all.

I eventually was able to get a job at a call center after being a temp (twice) at the same corporation. Yet within a year, I hit a hard income cap. In this job that I had worked so hard to secure, I could only pay off my debt over more than a decade throwing all my disposible income at it. And the job was soul-crushing. All my coworkers were warm-bodies that life had shat upon; my bosses were all sociopathic and incompetent PMPs that could barely open Outlook and constantly took the credit for any and all off-paper work that I did. For some reason, I started drinking heavily.

I was fortunate enough to be able to support my wife while she learned how to code and through fate, diligence, and diversity metrics, she was able to secure an IT job. She convinced me to quit soon afterwards and try to follow in her footsteps, but with apparently less favorable odds. Who wants to hire an unemployed self-taught 30-year-old white male with an unstable work history in an entry-level role?

And now, if looking down the barrel of economic obsolescence wasn't enough, I have to deal with baby-boomers, who by their own admission waltzed with ease into careers, constantly looking down on me for not gladly and immediately selling what remains of my youth to pernicious corporations whose five-year plans inevitably include either automating my position or shuttering because of the brick & mortar apocalypse.

Yes, it's a very perplexing hole, this lack of participation.

Our pipedream at this point is for me to be a stay-at-home dad and develop FOSS software when I'm not caregiving or doing home economy, with the eventual goal of buying a farm somewhere where we can both be doing what we really want (i.e. living as ethically as we possibly can in a dystopian hellscape far, far away from the gods of the Marketplace). I don't think this feeling is in the minority.

Your experience mirrors mine so closely it brings tears to my eyes. Even the year we graduated. It's so hard to to feel bitter about it all and slide into self loathing. I'm trying to break into software and trying to take classes to learn the ropes but the classes all consume ludicrous amounts of time and I have little time for side projects or self teaching outside of it. Meanwhile my peers and others in dev have all been doing it for years and years, very few understand where I'm coming from. "Just build something!" I wish I could but I don't know how.

I don't know who gave that advice, but I'm ten years older than you and was frequently told that a history degree would get me little.

Most of us have had to relocate to find decent jobs. If you chose to stay in the same town then that's on you.

Anytime the issue of millenials and jobs comes up, I think you have to talk about what the structural differences in the economy and business world are now:

"Thirty years ago, she says, you could walk into any hotel in America and everyone in the building, from the cleaners to the security guards to the bartenders, was a direct hire, each worker on the same pay scale and enjoying the same benefits as everyone else. Today, they’re almost all indirect hires, employees of random, anonymous contracting companies: Laundry Inc., Rent-A-Guard Inc., Watery Margarita Inc. In 2015, the Government Accountability Office estimated that 40 percent of American workers were employed under some sort of “contingent” arrangement like this—from barbers to midwives to nuclear waste inspectors to symphony cellists. Since the downturn, the industry that has added the most jobs is not tech or retail or nursing. It is “temporary help services”—all the small, no-brand contractors who recruit workers and rent them out to bigger companies."

From the fantastic https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/poor-millenn...

Doesn't this mean that middle-men are just being inserted who are absorbing some of the productivity (earnings) of the worker?

It seems like this would only make economic sense if the end company isn't using them on a regular basis, so overall efficiency goes up by multiplexing an employee out to multiple companies as needed. It seems implied by "Rent-A-Guard", but I'm musing out-loud. I haven't had a chance to read your article yet.

> Doesn't this mean that middle-men are just being inserted who are absorbing some of the productivity (earnings) of the worker?

Essentially, yes.

Ugh I hate Watery Margarita Inc!

They're as bad as Heady Pours LLC

People love to talk about privilege, but being a male millenial in 2018 is anything but that. The media says you're a sexual predator. They say you're toxically masculine. That is, the very hormones imbued within you are to blame for a host of problems. If you're white they say you are constantly oppressing people of color. If you're in tech, then you're worst kind of man possible - a tech bro.

Couple the prevailing sentiment with a change in the type of available jobs. Physically demanding work is less common now, and manufacturing, long a mainstay of male occupation, was moved overseas. Office work is more about people relationships, which generally favors women. Our education system is similarly biased against men these days.

I'm at the old end of the millenial generation, but if I was 25, I don't think I'd be too motivated either. I'm not surprised when these young men favor sitting in a basement playing video games over getting a job. Or watching porn instead of going after a girlfriend. The culture has shifted. For some people it's a huge win and there are a wealth of new opportunities - but it is a zero sum game, and now we're seeing the losers.

I'm a 29 year old male. I've been trying to get a new job since March, and I've been unemployed since August. I have an MEng in Electronic Systems Engineering, and over 3 years continuous relevant work experience.

I have tried applying through Seek and TradeMe, and got no response. I tried writing custom cover letters and applying on company websites. I've rewritten my résumé several times based on contradictory advice. I updated my LinkedIn, and made a second LinkedIn profile to add strangers. I asked recruiters for help. I put side projects on the web, especially Show HN, to try to get attention. I asked friends who I worked with at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare when I was there before. I found random people on Github and offered to work for free on open-source projects just to get an introduction. I contacted computer repair shops and asked them to put up posters advertising data migration services that I could do with my old Apple II. I've contacted every Apple-certified repair person in NZ/Aus/Can to ask them for help. I've tried praying about it. I've tried spamming the companies that have emails readily available, from the accredited employers list. I posted a desperate plea on Facebook, and followed up on advice (+1 introduction) from friends. None of these methods are working. I've had only two interviews. Most companies don't even send rejections. I've lowered my standards so now I'll accept any kind of job, anywhere.

This is a cry for help. I know I'm doing something totally wrong. I just don't know how to contact companies. Please tell me what to do. Please tell me email addresses of people who care.

I looked at the résumé linked from your profile, too. I agree with ac29, plus the following suggestions:

* Remove all the logos/links. They're not helping the first impression, and they'll almost certainly confuse the systems that are used to scan/store your résumé.

* Take out the reference to military technology in your objective. If you get an interview you can ask them if they do military work and explain your reservations.

* Simplify your work history. Try to make it as sequential as possible, with as few gaps as possible. If you have a lot of work experience that is not directly relevant to the position you are seeking, consider changing the format and just list "Relevant Experience".

* Make your education section simpler. Just list your most advanced degree, or include your Bachelor's degree if it is in another field. Don't show your GPA, but include any academic honours you received while obtaining your degree.

* Remove all the icons on the second page, including the flags.

* Condense your charity work/hobbies/extra-curricular activities to a short list. Do list any directorships you held/hold. Don't list specific job titles unless they directly relate to the position you seek.

* You might consider just saying "References available upon request."

Your résumé comes across as kind of "all purpose". Maybe that's just because it's the one you include in your profile. If you aren't creating a focused résumé for each opportunity, you might want to consider doing that.

The problem is not the résumé. The problem is that nobody is receiving it. I have 3 résumés and I'll make another according to your guidelines. I want only one thing from you.

Email addresses. Please tell me somebody who can give me a job if I do this right. I need somebody who can help. Not somebody who will complain. Somebody who cares. Somebody who can give me food and shelter, a minimum wage. Anything.

You appear quite desperate and perhaps this desperation is coming through to the people you talk to and the interviews you do. As a hiring manager I can tell you, desperation is a massive turn-off and red flag.

Change your resume as the others have directed you and keep applying. Perhaps take a look at remote work options as well. But you need to dial back the desperation.

I am desperate. Please teach me how to write something that isn't desperate. I don't know how.

Keep applying which way? Nothing works! Keep sending emails? Keep using job listing websites? Keep using LinkedIn? Which one will perform differently after I scale up to thousands instead of hundreds? I need email addresses of people who care. I need to be introduced to someone who can provide food and shelter.

Hiring managers aren't interested in feeding and clothing you. They want to hire skilled workers to perform a service. The fact you even bring it up is a huge red flag.

If you're not getting job interviews when you apply, then you need to tailor your resume to what they're looking for. You've gotten good advice on how to do that.

Have you considered WWOOF? You can work on organic farms all around the world in exchange for food and shelter. Many of my friends have done it for fun. Might help you temporarily.


I took a look at your resume: it looks like from 2008-2014, you didn't hold any job for more than a few months, which is a bit of a red flag. Were you a student at the time? It doesnt say anywhere what years you were in school. Some jobs specifically say contract work, which explains why they are short, some don't say, which makes it unclear if you were just fired or quit after a short period of time.

Your bio also shows you lived in 12 countries in less than 10 years, and possibly worked in many of them: sounds fun, but also doesn't sound like someone who is willing to commit to a job long term.

Which of the 3 résumés are you looking at? I graduated in 2011, got some Working Holiday visas, then started a PhD in 2013 but dropped out in 2014. I visited many countries because I don't have a home.

I just spent the last 4 years in Taiwan, proving that I can settle down.

What do you want to do as a job? What do the people who have this job have on their CVs? Have you found people on LinkedIn who hire for what you want to do?

Also recruiters are a dead end for everyone who isn't already a very close match for a job that's going. It's incredibly frustrating for everyone, but that's their incentive structure.

And what do you mean Apple II? Isn't that ancient?

I'll take anything as a job now. I can get my own Working Holiday visa. But I've been turned down by farms and construction companies, not only tech companies.

I don't know how to find people on LinkedIn, but I created a new account just to spam that way. I'll keep trying to add lots of strangers and hope I find a friendly one.

Yes, I used an Apple II with ADTPro to migrate data off lots of old 5.25" floppies for archiving purposes. I thought that I could start a business to do that, if I could get computer repair shops to advertise for me. So I asked the repair shops, but most didn't even reply, and the only one that did told me that I should set up the business first and then they'll ask their manager whether they'd be willing to put up a poster. My logic is that older people are rich and powerful, and fondly remember their old computers. So the data migration would put me in contact with people who could give me a real job later.

Well you're closer to it than I am, but I would think there's no viable business migrating data off a decades old platform. You'd definitely have to find the right niche community to get any business at all.

> I'll take anything as a job now. I can get my own Working Holiday visa. But I've been turned down by farms and construction companies, not only tech companies.

The problem with this approach is that businesses are after specific skills. Except for minimum wage roles, which are going to be awkward for a guy with a degree. Basically, if I was a hiring manager at a restaurant I would assume you would be looking for something better almost immediately.

So assuming you can't get a fast food or farmhand job, you need to be presenting some useful skill.

I had a look at your CV.

- Those logos, what are they? Did you work there? Did you build those sites?

- When I'm looking at SWE CVs, I have about a minute to form an opinion. First, I look for relevant techs. You have some, but the easiest CVs to scan have a block at the top: C++, Kubernetes, Linux, React, JS, and so on. I might not even look at the rest of the CV if I'm looking for a C++ dev and it doesn't stick out immediately, even if it's in there further down. Looking at your CV, there's a bunch of reasonably current techs like TensorFlow, but I only saw that the 3rd time I had a look.

- You did pretty well at your IB, and you did pretty well in your degrees. You were obviously a conscientious student.

- You've got some really interesting skills under your personal interests. Stick them in the skills block.

No reason why someone wouldn't decide to interview you. What happens when you apply to Google/FB/etc?

I'll take a fast food or farmhand job! But I need an email address of somebody who can give me that job.

If you tell me the email address of somebody who can offer me food and shelter, I'll rewrite my résumé for them. But I need to know that there is somebody who cares if I do that. Because I've had a lot of résumé advice that was just complaining, and didn't lead to a job. I need a job, an introduction, an interview. At least a rejection letter! I don't need a choice of 20 résumés, I already have 3.

I would really encourage you to get your resume to match a traditional one page format. Something clean, professional and orderly ( https://zety.com/blog/resume-formats is just a search that seems to have some).

If it doesn't look professional, it isn't something that scans well, well, it doesn't get the appropriate information across in a timely manner. That itself is an important skill.

Consider also that France (you list your address as France) has unemployment at about 9% and youth unemployment rate at about 20%. That may not be the best place to be looking for a job.

Even with being some place for 4 years, it doesn't look like you are someone that will stay in one place long enough to recoup the cost of training a person up to the appropriate skill. This applies to everything from the farm hand and fast food (where you're also competing with that youth unemployment rate) to professional jobs. It costs money to onboard someone - even farm hand. If you aren't going to be there for a year, hiring someone who isn't going to stay is likely to lose money.

That "I'm going to go" isn't only communicated with your scattering of locations and durations, but also the volunteer experience listing CouchSurfing weekly as the top item. This is reinforced with the current extracurricular (you're not a student anymore - they're hobbies if that) listing two items... one of which is couch surfing.

If you want a programming job, computer programing isn't a 'personal interest' listed near the end of the second page - it's a first page top item.

Listing "Ideas" and then having it go to a basically empty page... that doesn't inspire any confidence. Note also that ideas are cheap - it's the implementation of those ideas that demonstrate skill. Maybe there are ideas behind the links in the upper right, but as it is, that's a blank white page.

Of these, the most important I would say is make a boring resume - something that follows the form. No, it doesn't make you stand out, but it also is something that is easy to scan and demonstrates professionalism in communication and presentation.

My 2 cents: only have one resume and one LinkedIn profile. Follow the advice the parent post gave. Make it clear what your skills are. Not sure where you live, but the Bay Area is full of places looking for engineers, apply to companies there

There are lots of foreign companies/individuals who come to China to develop + manufacture hardware, and need help. With Chinese and electronics experience you are all set. Try hanging out in Shenzhen ('Hardware Massive' events, HAX, Troublemaker hackerspace, etc.), and ask around. Pay can be quite good, $30-$50 USD per hour.

I have spent the last ten years moving from country to country. I work on my own projects, and fortunately do ok.. I'm not sure if someone would hire me. :-)

If you're on this side of the globe, we could use some help here in Belgrade for a couple of weeks (at least) adding Chinese, Japanese and Korean language support and tools to our project: http://languagelearningwithnetflix.com/

There's a sofa bed and the occasional friendly cockroach. :-)

If you are willing to consider gig work:


I need food and shelter. I don't think that sending applications to hundreds of gigs and getting ignored by most of them is going to provide that. I'm trying to get a bank account now. When that comes, I can try to do things that receive online payments. I'm really trying to bootstrap from zero.

I did gig work while homeless. I pulled that link off a site I own called pocketputer.com. From there, you can also find the San Diego Homeless Survival Guide and Street Life Solutions, two other sites of mine.

It will also link you to Write Pay, a quick intro to working for Textbroker. You do need a bank account and a PayPal account to make money via Textbroker, but you don't have to apply for gigs. Once you have an account, you select work from a pool of articles. It is possible to make a few hundred a week if you apply yourself. It's not glamorous, but if you need to eat, it can cover that.

Try to rommate simply your rsume and calm down. Tr to appear confident and charming.

"If you get to the point where you’re turning 30, you’ve never held a real job and you don’t have a college education, then it is very hard to recover at that point."

I've raised this point to a fair few of my friends and colleagues recently. I think it is becoming increasingly hard to contribute to society, because everything is so gosh-darn technical.

Companies _scream_ for developers - but not junior developers, or people who they can teach to program - but developers with 5+ years worth of experience.

I think this will only get WAY worse in the future. Unfortunately, I also think it will mean that people who fail to get a job after taking their degree will be worse off than people with little or no education, who has always had a job (no matter the type of job).

So if you're done with college/university (which is when you're around 25-30 y/o in Europe), and you can't get a job, and you can't put your education to use. You're pretty much shit out of luck in most cases. Of course you can always dig yourself out, but doing so would most likely mean working a min-wage job for 8-10 hours a day, and then spending all your free-time and weekends learning a useful skill, which doesn't leave much time for friends or family (or making a family).

"So if you're done with college/university (which is when you're around 25-30 y/o in Europe),"

Uh, what? You're done with university (masters) at 22-23. Late 20's when you include PhD.

Where I'm from (Denmark), most people start university when they're 18-22, and then you have to do a bachelors degree (3 years) and a master degree (2 years). Often times, people spend more time on their degrees because they take extra internships. Based on the 50 people I had a some-what close relation to while I did my degree, most of them where 26-27 when they got their masters degree.

You can see a figure from ministry of education here (first figure - it shows the age of the starting student): https://www.dst.dk/pukora/epub/Nyt/2005/NR242.pdf

The title of the chart is translated into "Average age of new students", where the top part addresses bachelors-students from each of the 5 mayor areas (technical, societal etc), while the bottom part of the graph shows the vocational education system here.

After they start, they will use 5 years minimum to get their degrees. Bachelors are worthless in Denmark.

EDIT: I know the first article is from 2004. Here's a 2016 article that states that new students at the University of Copenhagen (largest in Denmark) had an avg. age of 22,7 in 2016, which was a year younger than the avg. age in 2015: https://uniavisen.dk/alderspraesidenter-eller-groenskollinge...

Why would a sizeable portion of people start at 22? 18-19 plus 4 or 5 (there are plenty of 1-year masters - maybe not in Denmark, but elsewhere in Europe) is 24 at worst.

It's true that 10 or 20 years ago it was normal to spend 6 years on a 4 year study. Times have changed. And if they haven't yet in Denmark, they will in time.

> Why would a sizeable portion of people start at 22? 18-19 plus 4 or 5 (there are plenty of 1-year masters - maybe not in Denmark, but elsewhere in Europe) is 24 at worst.

Later start in school, potential extra year 10 before high school, something called "højskole" which is potentially another year or so after high school (look up a guy called NFS Grundvig to explain this), conscription/volunteer for the military for some people.

Most long degrees are 5 years from high school to masters, 3 + 2 officially, but you generally don't want just the 3.

Also it's a reasonably common thing for people to get delayed. Failed exams, stress, even babies. Government is looking a lot at how to get people through quickly.

I'm just stating the facts. But let me explain how the educational trajectory looks like. Sorry I don't know the correct terms for all the different levels of education. But here goes:

Age 2-6: Daycare/kindergarden

6-16/17: Grade School (folkeskolen)

16/17-19/20: High School (gymnasiet)

19/20-20/23: One or two years off where people work/travel/move out from their parents etc. (as you can see, we're close to the 22 year average here)

20/23-25/28: 5 years of university - add one year for the standard extra interships and you have 6 years of university

Fastest possible way: Start school at 5, skip 10th grade, just straight to High School aged 15, finish high school aged 18, straight to university and study for 5 years (fastest possible degree in the regular system), and you're 23 by the time you get out of the system.

You've just asserted that college students in Denmark should spend less time finishing a degree, but provided no reason or substance to back your assertion.

A big part is you don't know who can learn to code and enjoy it. Not everyone is cut out for it.

On the other hand, how many people can you train to become programmers?

Are you asking if it would be feasible for companies to take in well-educated people, and teaching them the programming/dev-craft?

I don't know. But right now, companies are trying to solve the problem in other ways, which is ultimately not addressing their core need.

I just feel like some sort of educational system (bootcamp'ish) would be able to make a good business case for most companies.

When I finished my undergrad education, my first job was with a big consulting firm. Early 1990s. They did have a 6 or 8 week "boot camp" and they taught new hires how to program. Many of them had had no significant prior background in programming.

I'm asking how much of the population can learn to program.

I once read that you need an IQ above 100 to learn it and be effective with it, I just don't remember how much above 100 it was. 110 or 115 or something...

On the other hand, programming gets easier by the day.

I know a few people in marketing who build impressive stuff just with GUI based programming tools.

Most people, I'd imagine. Given enough time.

But I don't know how many you could train within a cost-effective timeframe.

And learning the basics just doesn't seem to cut it anymore. It seems like most enterprise technology builds on older versions of older versions making it more complex. For instance, AI and ML seems like two subject areas that would be impossible for anyone to work professionally with, if they don't have years and years of experience with programming/math/statistics.

It's not perplexing at all. People forget that the market for labor is just like other markets.

If you're selling a thing and the market price is lower than the thing is worth, then you don't sell it.

If the minimum wage kept up with the increase in worker productivity over the last 50 years, today's minimum wage would be about $19.50.

So workers who refuse to take dead-end jobs are simply rational economic actors refusing to sell a large fraction of their existence for a pittance.

If employers have job openings they can't fill, while workers are idle because they won't work so cheap, then shouldn't the market-clearing wage increase? If not, what's preventing it?

> If employers have job openings they can't fill, while workers are idle because they won't work so cheap, then shouldn't the market-clearing wage increase? If not, what's preventing it?

Other workers will work cheap. See, it doesn't matter what you think your time is worth. The supply of people willing to work is what determines what it is worth.

Minimum wage jobs can literally be done by almost anyone who is not mentally or physically handicapped. You can "refuse to sell" your labor at that price, but when you have nothing in the way of skills or experience to offer, you really are just choosing to be unemployed.

The key point is that employers have job openings they can't fill [1].

If you are correct that other workers are willing to work that cheap, then the jobs would be filled.

Workers exist but are unwilling to work that cheap, so they're idle while employers have unfilled jobs.

Whenever you see a news story that says "employers having difficulties finding qualified workers," you can safely replace that phrase with "employers are unwilling to pay the market rate for labor."

[1] U.S. job openings hit record high of 7.14 million https://www.investing.com/news/economic-indicators/us-job-op...

Indeed; they're either unwilling to pay the market rate for the labour _or_ they are unwilling to train.

Any time an employer states that they cannot find a _suitable_ candidate for a position it is an admission that they are unwilling to train.

I think you are excluding other scenarios:

A business may not be able to pay minimum wage and training costs. The solution there is more qualified people (but they take better paying jobs), lower wage (legally impossible), pass increases on to consumers (higher wages paired with higher costs). Wage increases can't magically be absorbed, especially in service industries with plenty of substitutes. Customers will just disappear.

The best example I can think of is restaurants closing in NYC because the increased wage costs due to increased minimum wage requirements made certain business models unsustainable: http://thefederalist.com/2018/07/16/15-minimum-wage-hike-wre...

You gave many reasons why an employer may be unwilling, but it's the same outcome regardless: an unwillingness to train or pay more.

I don't think that is an accurate summary of the situation at all. In particular your characterization asserts indirectly that that the employer is doing something wrong, that if only they were "willing" the problem would be rectified. But it is nonsensical to think that a business is going to willingly make choices that go against its own self interest, that hurts its business.

It makes no sense to hire an employee for $X/hour if that won't increase revenue by at least $X/hour.

It makes no sense to raise prices to cover an employee's wages/training for $Y/month, for example if revenue goes down by more than $Y/month (higher prices => less sales)

I don't believe I asserted that the employer is wrong in being unwilling to train or pay market rates for labour. There are many valid reasons to be so unwilling.

Yes all this. My mother-in-law lived through the institution of minimum wage in America. She saw many people lose their part-time jobs because of it. Initially it was a big upset.

Thanks, your clarification is helpful. I think that it's more accurate to say, rather than "employers are unwilling to pay the market rate for labor," that "at the market rate for labor, employers have other options than employing workers."

Either they decide that the work is not worth doing at the higher cost, or they have some way to get it done other than directly hiring people to do it (automating, outsourcing, assigning more tasks to current employees, etc.)

The "other options" category also includes closing because the business is no longer viable given the legal/market constraints.

But, what happens where there are no workers? Everywhere I go there are signs saying help wanted. But, unemployment is practically non-existent where I live. Everyone who wants a job, has a job.

Everyone who wants a job at the wage employers are offering has a job.

The unemployment rate doesn't count people who aren't looking for work.

The labor force participation rate measures the percentage of the working-age population between 16 and 64 who are either working or looking for work.

That's currently about 62%.

If wages were higher, then more people would be willing to work.

I would add that sometimes having skills and experience isn't enough if they are in fields that for some reason ceased to be in demand.

Cue those who want to cut minimum wage and public assistance so unemployment is even more dire.

From a public policy standpoint, I think it would be better to have people at even a very low rate with public assistance as appropriate than to have people not working at all and dependent 100% on public assistance.

Increasing the minimum wage results in some people getting a higher wage and other people getting $0.

> Men -- long America’s economically privileged gender

It depends on how you look at it. Don't get me wrong, men have had lots of privileges, but they have long been expected to work. Those social expectations are rapidly disappearing, and somewhat shifting to women, and we're seeing rates of depression and suicide rise for women in roughly the same time frame. Calling it privileged is a very one-sided way of looking at it, as the "privilege" comes with lot of responsibility that quickly becomes burdensome. With affordable home appliances, online services through your phone, video games, Netflix, and PornHub, the house wife/husband is obsolete. Why take on the same burdens your fathers did when little to none of that existed?

With wages being stagnant since the 1970s, the ridiculous housing market, the materialist debt-slave culture, the decline of marriage, and the decrease in sustainable jobs, why exactly should millennial(and increasingly Gen Z) men bother working as much as their fathers? I come from a very wealthy area and only one of the dozens of men my age, with whom I grew up with, own what their fathers did when they were their age. Millennial men are rife with disenfranchisement that flies under the radar because the economy has enough shit jobs to allow them to scrape by, and the media is generally not compassionate to the issues of men. I mean, just look at this article which is clearly written as an underhanded criticism of young men.

Let me repeat the question in the last paragraph:

Why exactly should millennial men work as much as their fathers?

> Why take on the same burdens your fathers did when little to none of that existed?

I can only offer my perspective - I take on those burdens because I want what my fathers had. I want a stable family, a wife who is able to stay home and care for and teach our children, a comfortable retirement, and the ability to help both my extended family and my community at large.

Still, I don't disagree with your comment overall. It seems that I am a bit of an outlier among my peers to want those things. I don't blame people for deciding that this path in life isn't worth it to them, and that they'd prefer to walk another.

For that matter, if hadn't met my wife so early in life, I'm not sure I'd be looking to get married and start a family now. I'd probably be living a minimal existence in a van or small RV in California, working at FAANG, and putting back as much of my pay as I could. A few years of that and I'd be financially able to move back to rural America to live a comfortable life and never have to work again.

I'm looking at a $400 bill after insurance for a 15 minute doctor's visit. Nothing fancy he took my blood pressure and listened to my lungs and sent me on my way. I'm fortunate that I can easily pay this, but what if I was living paycheck to paycheck? It would crush me. When wealth is so fleeting as to be taken away by such a minuscule stroke of bad luck, why would people bother chasing it?

I'm literally going to have to "shop around" for my next appointment should I need one.

I think what you're getting at, and several others, is that every opportunity has been squeezed out.

- Go to college? Get massive debt, insecure about losing whatever job you get after. Lots of other people have paper too. Oh and they also want to live near where degree jobs are, just like you.

- Start in the mail room? They don't promote from the mail room anymore.

- Work minimum wage? Everything costs what it needs to cost for you to have zero saving or extra time.

- Buy a house? Houses already cost a lot. In fact every investment asset costs a lot.

- Start a business? Even starting a restaurant is different from a couple of decades ago.

- Learn a trade? This one sounds reasonable to me actually. All that "you must get a degree" has left a hole that plumbers and electricians can fill. But you have to get used to being looked down on. Plus many people use prestige as an indicator of income, so they might not discover there's a reasonable living to be made. Still requires you to apprentice for a bit though.

-> Learn a trade? ... you have to get used to being looked down on.

What is even more striking about that is that among many economists and policy makers trade-schools are seen as a good recipe, last and maybe only hope to counter the effects of graduate-inflation. But yet, what parents make that bold move and tell their kids to cancel their Ivy League dreams and instead become a welder?

It is one of those moments that lay bare what prohibits us from progress: The solution is already there, is affordable and doable for most individuals. Plus approved by all the smartest people. Yet nobody seems willing to go that way, including all of the smartest people.

Maybe it's different because I live in a rural area, but a lot of my students want to go into welding or mechanics, etc. They know they can make a good living, and some of the more ambitious want to do underwater welding or work on airplanes (and one even has an "in" through his father, who does that) and retire early, or just live large.

But, overall, I do agree with your points. What I mostly see in high school here is kids who don't have a fucking clue what they want to do. To be honest, I'm 26 and I'm not sure if I know what I want to do either. I think a lot of the issue is that we force kids to make decisions impacting the rest of their lives before they've ever had a chance to really find their passions and such.

I hate our culture.

There surely is a middle ground here between living paycheck to paycheck and not making work the most important thing in your life.

For those that don't have the luxury of having an education combined with training in a relevant skill, that middle ground is just wishful thinking.

Or minimalism, which is becoming a trendy topic on places like YouTube for that reason.

> Or minimalism

No, not really. Economic constrains are the real issue. It makes no difference if a person decides to live spending less if he is never constrained by what he can afford. On the other hand, if someone needs something (say medical care) but can't afford it then there's a problem.

Minimalism doesn't really buy you a whole lot when just rent is already half of your paycheck, anyway. There likely just isn't much left to cut. The things I already own don't add to my cost of living, I already own them.

Conceptually possible, but in practice what market forces ensure that such a group exists?

I know a non-zero number of people that both work paycheck to paycheck and also make work the most important part of their lives. That's not to say it's mutually exclusive with 'neither' group, but I don't think it's impossible for the 'neither' group to shrivel into non-existence.

Are you arguing against white men's privilege compared to whom, exactly? Their past selves?

I think a lot of the challenges you list apply to most people, and even then white males have a big leg up on most anyone. Times are tough all over. Tougher for those more disenfranchised, already.

I'm not arguing against white men's privilege. And by the way, the term "white men" can be found nowhere in the article or in my comment, and I don't know why you are dragging race into this.

And no, I'm not arguing against the privileges of men. I'm criticizing the use of that word, in comparison to the rest of the article, as a covert gendered judgment. Just because men continue to have a "privilege" doesn't mean they will continue to want that privilege. When there's no incentive, why exactly would a man or a woman want the responsibilities that come with a high-flying career, dating, marriage, having a family, home ownership, retirement planning, et cetera et cetera? What this journalist sees as "perplexing" is hardly inexplicable.

Yes, those challenges indeed apply to most if not all people. Just because other people have things worse than others doesn't mean that one privileged group's behavior can't be explained by their own disenfranchisement. The fact that nobody can answer the question I've repeatedly asked demonstrates my point; the benefits of the man's privilege is in decline, hence men aren't going to participate in the economy the same way they used to. Why is it that you are redirecting the discussion to those(unnamed) with relatively worse privation?

> I'm not arguing against white men's privilege. And by the way, the term "white men" can be found nowhere in the article or in my comment, and I don't know why you are dragging race into this.

Because in the United States, "black male privilege" isn't a thing. "Male Privilege" = "WHITE Male Privilege"

Do please give examples of the, "benefits of the man's privilege is in decline" when compared to the population in whole. Please do so without seeing this as an adjustment in overall equality.

No, because that has absolutely nothing to do with what anyone here is talking about. Everything I wrote previously answers your question, but you're trying to apply racial conflict theory to a phenomenon that doesn't require it. Frankly, I'm not going to spend time explaining why black men have male privilege over black women, as I can hardly believe that you've seriously considered even the most basic of arguments against your overly reductionist and unnecessarily divisive definition of male privilege. This wasn't even specifically about general male privilege, but about the "economically privileged gender."

This article was pretty bad. "Hot" labor market huh? isn't it mostly low income service jobs and degree required jobs that are "hot"? I wouldn't know from this article, because it chooses to ask questions rather than provide info.

I weep for the one young man who is studying to be an EMT. I learned recently that that job, which is tasked often with saving lives, pays ~12 bucks an hour. The "hot" labor market is a farce.

EMT is entry level, though, and you are basically competing against a workforce where most people have gone past that to become paramedics. Not to say that a paramedic salary is all that lucrative itself, but it's about 10K higher than EMT.

While the article did a lot of pointing at men not working, it did little to show what the Hole in the "Hot U.S. Market" was. Maybe the people they were talking about would benefit from that information.

There are a TON of Blue collar jobs that are only getting higher pay in the Seattle area right now. Entry level Electrician, 25/hr. After the Apprenticeship 50/hr (2 years I think). I believe plumbing, construction, etc are in the same boom right now.

That's a really awesome job for someone who is struggling to make ends meet at a pizza joint (example from article). This is 100% anecdotal and regional. So take it with a grain of salt.

Similar prices to be had around NoVA / DC. Data center electricians with 2 years experience were at 35/hr, and the Master electricians with experience were roughly double.

No shit, I was a data center manager then and contemplated switching jobs.

Source: I hired both union and non-union (union guys on the side) for electrical work in DC area data centers.

My brother-in-law is a journeyman electrician in Seattle and the going rate is around 40-45/hour. Not a bad wage at all. But it does require about four years to get to that point.

> Weary of long days earning minimum wage, he quit his job in a pizzeria in June.

Given these are the types of jobs these men are leaving, and assuming these are the types of jobs still available, it's these jobs.

The market is hot because jobs are available. It's not hot because good jobs are available.

Right. What exactly are all those "hot" jobs these men are supposedly refusing? Very frustrating framing.

It's not the jobs themselves that are hot, it's the job market that is. We have low unemployment, but for some reason this demographic remains at a higher rate of unemployment than their age-wise peers from a decade ago, while other demographics have recovered or surpassed their prior numbers.

The hole is the 500k or so men who aren't working now (in the 25-34 year old demographic) who were working before the recession (well, the calculated amount based on percentage of that demographic who were working pre-recession versus who are working now). While other demographics (35-44 yo men and women, 25-34 yo women) have recovered (or done better) than pre-recession rates. And given the overall low unemployment figures, the question is why does this demographic seem to be missing out on the recovery?

I wonder about the distribution within. Men are known to have a higher standard deviation in IQ. Perhaps it is a sign of hidden if not disabilities relative appitude disadvantages or relative socialization maladjustment - no judgement as to who is wrong if any.

I personally had one hell of a time going through the hiring process despite my credentials.

Some interesting things in this article. Given what appear to be changing attitudes to men ("long America’s economically privileged gender"), is this situation really surprising? When one considers diversity and inclusion goals, hiring more men seems like a lower priority.

I was also amused by the comment, “I’m very quick to get frustrated when people refuse to pay me what I’m worth.” This seems like a conversation I have at least once a quarter with someone. You're worth what the market is willing to offer you, not what you think you are worth.

The market is a two way street. If they refuse to pay enough to satisfy them to consider working then they won't get their labor in return.

They may well be able to do without but the supply will adjust accordingly. Look at mining boom towns and their crazy inflation - one could say line cooks aren't worth $35/hr but if they can get a $50/hr mining job the local market will be in a perpetual shortage because they refuse to "overpay".

You're worth the point on a graph where the line illustrating what the market is willing to offer you intersects with what you're willing to take.

If you think of the housing market as a rough example, a house may have been "worth" 500k in 2006, 350k in 2010, and 525k in 2018, but unless you sold it, the "worth" didn't matter. Likewise, the individuals you are describing are choosing to hold themselves off of the labor market due to the opportunity costs of selling their labor at a cost they consider to be below value. No idea if they're wrong or right about getting a better deal by waiting, but your worth is not market dictated until you accept employment somewhere.

> You're worth what the market is willing to offer you, not what you think you are worth.

This is an absurd statement, the market is not a god. It does not have a value system.

> This is an absurd statement, the market is not a god. It does not have a value system.

The word "market" is just a convenient tag to refer to a collection of individuals like you and me looking to buy/sell goods and/or services, and deciding what's best for them given the choices available, their priorities, and the information they have.

Thus, when anyone refers to what "the market is willing to offer", they are referring to what the individuals like you and me who are shopping for a good/service are actually willing to pay in exchange for it.

Are you willing to pay a philosophy major a 70k/year salary for him to research a topic? No? Neither is anyone else. Thus, in short, the market for philosophy research is not willing to pay for that.

Yeah, but there are two sides to that (voluntary) transaction. The person bidding for labor and the person offering their labor. If the buyer and seller can't agree then the transaction doesn't take place. The value of the labor is subjective.

Yes, and no. The value we place on our own labour is subjective, and the value that a buyer places on our labour is also subjective. You may value your labor at $100/hour, and if no one agrees to pay that price that doesn't mean you are wrong, it just means that there's no market for your labour at that amount.

At the same time, we can say that there is an objective value for labour of a certain type (I'm thinking of commodified labour), which is the going market rate. Just as there is, at any given point in time, an objective value for a share of Apple Computer.

> The person bidding for labor and the person offering their labor. If the buyer and seller can't agree then the transaction doesn't take place.

That's the whole point: "the market is willing to accept" only deals that are deemed acceptable to the two parties involves in the negotiation. It takes two to tango. Anyone is free to make outlandish offers but in order to make a deal happen it's absolutely necessary that someone willingly accepts them.

In a capitalistic society, The Market = God. Ever heard people claiming that The Market will fix things? Where have I heard that before?

> In a capitalistic society, The Market = God.

Enough with the puerile poetry. In a capitalist society, the market is people like you and me who like to decide for themselves what's in their own best interests.

The market fixes problems because people likeyou and me always find a balance between what they supply and demand, and what trade-offs they are willing to accept. There is no magic or witchcraft.

i look around and see a world struggling with pollution and inequality. Do you have any data/studies backing your claim, or am I supposed to take it all on faith?

> i look around and see a world struggling with pollution and inequality.

Pollution is hardly a problem created by capitalism, and inequality is only a problem in the minds of those who for some reason don't stand the idea of anyone earning more tham them while not giving a damn about those who earn less.

The millennial generation is also the first one in history to have mass exposure to the success of others due to social media websites. This could be a reason they want to seek better opportunities than the minimum wage jobs available to them. Retraining in schools does seem like a reasonable approach to pursue such better opportunities. Don't feel like millennials are in the wrong here.

The part that made me wonder about the millennials in their job search is:

> Butcher has a high-school diploma and a resume filled with low-wage jobs from Target and Walmart to a local grocery store. He’s being selective as he searches for new work because he doesn’t want to grind out unhappy hours for unsatisfying compensation.

I believe that having a job that you love is a luxury. It is something to look at once basic needs are met.

There are jobs out there, and even jobs that train entry level in a trade. No, it may not be the job you love... but as Stephen Stills said:

> If you're down and confused And you don't remember who you're talking to Concentration slip away Because your baby is so far away

> Well, there's a rose in a fisted glove And the eagle flies with the dove And if you can't be with the one you love, honey Love the one you're with ...

That doesn’t mean one should love that unsatisfying job, but recognize that not everyone will have that dream job.

>He’s being selective as he searches for new work because he doesn’t want to grind out unhappy hours for unsatisfying compensation.

I think this is a large part of the issue here. I only have my experience employing millenials to go by, but they're a group that seems to be less focused on compensation and career advancement than generations before them. They're version of the American Dream is also different than generations before them. It's not get job, make money, get a house, have kids, etc. There's nothing wrong with any of that. Society has changed, and the economics have changed.

I graduated college in 1997 with $30k in debt, which was a lot at the time. Now, that'd be below average. I was the only one of my large group of friends that didn't own a house within 5 years of graduation. Contrast that with the cohort of millenials I've managed, and I don't think a single one out of several dozen have owned their own home. It's either not a high priority or seems so out of reach when student loans and the high cost of ownership in this area (Boston) come into play. Sure, they could maybe buy a place in suburbia, but again that's a smaller priority than in was before them.

My tl:dr; for the article is that they're less willing to work "just because" and have different goals than generations before them, and that's hard for people to grok.

Judging by various new grad looking for a job forums for CS that I've seen (and yes, that is self selecting to a particular set), it is either someone hyper focused on compensation (has sent out 1000 applications... 100 to each of the top 10 tech companies, looking for a job that pays significant six figures for a new grad) or is looking for a place where they will feel needed and can change the world.

I've seen the "I've been looking for a job for six months and a recruiter contacted me about a position at {finance, defense, public sector, back office retail}, but I turned them down because I don't want to work in that industry."

Sometimes its a "you keep saying that you're looking for a job, but you aren't applying where there are openings."

I've worked big tech before the layoffs in '09. Since then I've worked back office retail, GIS logistics and now public sector... I won't say that any of them are jobs that I would say that I love (they aren't the dream job), but I am able to find meaning in them and enjoy the work that I do because there are hard problems to solve. When I was looking for a job, I took my time picking, but I didn't say "no" when they had an offer and I was unemployed.

One of the things that the line that I mentioned above...

> Butcher has a high-school diploma and a resume filled with low-wage jobs from Target and Walmart to a local grocery store. He’s being selective as he searches for new work because he doesn’t want to grind out unhappy hours for unsatisfying compensation.

Switching jobs every few months trying to find one that is satisfying means that the next employer isn't going to invest as much to train that person and isn't as likely to chose that person for promotion to those higher paying jobs within the company.

One may claim that they value their (in this case just a high school diploma job) at $40/h, but if they can't produce $20/h of value for the company, well, they're not going to get hired at $40/h.

Follow your passion (that seems to be something many millennials have as their version of the American Dream sounds great... but really should be "Find the hard work you're willing to do" (see http://www.cs.uni.edu/~wallingf/blog/archives/monthly/2018-1... )

"So for now, the Pittsburgh native and father to young children is living with his mother" In the past that wasn't so much of an option. You had to survive. I grew up with parents working jobs like the one he eschewed. They wouldn't dare try to live with my comparatively much more wealthy grandma.

So now living with your parents into your 30s is like taking basic income. This is all fine if someone is truly doing this to invest in more education to get out of the unskilled labor market, but bad when it is just an excuse to be lazy. I too worked low wage jobs when I was a teen and in college to pay my way, I find that when people leave the upward trajectory by leaving school or their job for "something better" they end up becoming lazy and end up worse.

Don't know why you're downvoted. It's very easy for a person to rationalize sitting at home by telling himself he is holding out for a job that will "pay what I'm worth" but not doing anything concrete to make that happen.

When I was in my late teens/20s I never thought moving back home was an acceptable option. Working at McDonalds or delivering pizza and living with roomates felt more honorable than moving back in with my parents.

IMHO (and I emphasize that), the main difference is that when I was that age, getting a job, making money, and being independent were my goals. For the younger generation, they came into the world at a time of economic turmoil and skyrocketing student loan costs. By the time things recovered, housing markets in many areas were back to the races before they could catch up. Throw in more of an emphasis on doing, making, and experiencing things, and hustling for a buck is less of a priority.

And your parents get to raise your kids. And probably pay for their care and schooling.

I can grok 'lazy' or non-participation, but adding kids to the mix?

Is there a good explanation for the bar chart that shows labor force participation being down or flat for just about everyone other than young women and old men?

I know a bunch of beautiful, accomplished women with great jobs who can't find good men to start a family with. Young mens' failure-to-launch is becoming a big problem....

I'm going to talk about some gender differences that are true in general, and I could back up with citations if I had the time. But remember everybody is their own special case - things that are true in general for a population don't necessarily describe individuals of that population.

1) Women tend to marry up. An accomplished woman with a great job wants a man with a better job. That shrinks the pool a lot for her! A beautiful woman wants a beautiful man, or is willing to trade some beauty for other qualities like status, money, personality, etc. This shrinks the small pool even further.

2) An accomplished woman is likely in her mid thirties, she's got just a couple years to find someone and start having kids to have that family. A small pool with a tight time-frame.

3) Many of the "good men" in 35-45 age group are already married. That pool just keeps getting smaller.

I mean really she wants a 35-45 year-old hyper-successful man who's still single. Those kinds of men are probably not looking to marry 35 year old women. They're super desirable men and they can date from the pool of more desirable twenty year old women. Seems like a very tough situation to be in.

While I recognise a lot of truth in this, I don't think there's ever been a time when I'd have wanted to date or marry a woman 20 years my junior. I have some lovely friends in that range, but they're socio-culturally so different from me (as a reasonably successful, well-off middle-aged man) that it's hard to see them as partner material.

I think what eloff hits on is a gating problem in the choices that each sex typically makes in eloff's construction of their interactions.

Successful women want to marry someone as or more successful, making their pool smaller. Men don't tend to worry as much about marrying someone as or more successful as them, so as you move up the "success" distribution, women have ever fewer choices, and men even more, causing a lot of mismatching problems for women above [x] percentile.

Yes, that's exactly what I'm getting at. Successful women in their mid thirties find themselves with nearly no options (because of their own preferences which are deeply rooted in culture and genetics), while the kind of men they are interested in have all the options in the world. It's really unfair - and I think it's not discussed enough that women who focus on their career first often do it at the expense of having a family. It's very hard to get both as woman - and you choose in your early twenties and find yourself locked into that decision. Men don't have the same problem.

I'm not sure what advice I would give to my future daughters, other than make it clear to them that it's a very important choice they'll have to make.

Agreed, it's a bit ridiculous. Twenty years is probably too much (especially for a long term relationship) although I do know men who do that.

I went 9 years my junior and it has mostly been a good thing. Especially where starting a family is concerned it has made it so we're not rushed on that decision and can get our finances in order first.

How would this change if the women were set on being childfree?

I think these beautiful accomplished women you speak of might need to try something different/hit up a new watering hole rather than blame a lack of appropriate salary-man breeding stock, as even this wrongheaded article states that these mystifying jobless millennial men (who are presumably ruining America) total only around 500,000, when the number of millennial men is healthily in the millions.

It's not a failure to launch so much as it is a reasonable choice to refuse a path that is not appealing to them. While I chose to marry and have children I in no way presume that my choice to do so is correct for all; it is entirely reasonable for others to choose differently than I.

Why should the individuals in question follow traditional paths, when there's ample adequate satisfaction and happiness to be found in life paths that carry less personal responsibility and financial burden? If having children and a life-partner does not out weigh the relevant stressors, in their subjective assessment, then I see no reason why they'd choose as I have.

I feel like I’ve heard this line way too many times. What qualifies a “good man” and an “accomplished woman”?

I like how the reason to care about men's failure to launch is the lack of reasonable spousal options for women. Men are people too, independent of their utility to women

Well you know, if perhaps HR reviewed it's practices and didn't make discriminating against men a point of pride, then perhaps there would be less "failure-to-launch".

The laws of supply and demand apply to the marriage market. The most attractive are always in hot demand. Women generally marry up (hypergamy). Successful people pick other successful people. All of these factors shrink the pool.

Define “good men”.

Also define "failure to launch".

From what I can tell, women who consistently complain they can't find a good man wants a self-made man who's already succeeded, instead of one in the process of acquiring that success.

This is identical to a guy who quits on the third day because he's not the CEO yet, even though his job is in the mail room and no one even knows his name yet.

Want something in life? Work for it. There are no participation prizes in life: this goes for both the traditional male and traditional female roles. Success only sees success, no matter what you choose to do in life.

Same definition as it's always had. Either bring in money, do a good job caring for the home & family, or some combination those two.

No one wants a partner, regardless of gender, that doesn't contribute.

By this definition, the example millennial male who is studying to become an EMT is on track to contribute but doesn't qualify as a "good man". Seems a little short-sighted.

if he's not contributing to family life while he's studying then you're right, he's not. He may be aspiring to be a "good partner", but if he's _only_ working on bettering himself that is exactly what most people do not want in a partner.

I know a bunch of single men with nice engineering jobs (mostly aerospace). The notion that there just aren't good people or there on either side just seems silly to me.

Maybe men are smartening up. They don't want to be saddled with a divorce, alimony, child support, or several hundred thousand in college tuition costs down the road.

We've all heard that proverb about boat and plane rentals. As the cost of raising kids goes up it gets more and more true.

Both genders. Raising kids is expensive. Student loans are retarding marriages and house purchases.

Good point. I wonder how many people out there look at a $12/hour job and realize they can't afford to live off that after loan payments. Maybe they are holding out for something better, or perhaps are exasperated and given up?

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