Worth reading: The mystery of America's missing male workers
Excerpt: More than 7 million men between the ages of 25 and 54 — prime working age — have dropped out of the labor force. That means they're not only unemployed but have also given up looking for a job. Shortly after World War II, virtually every man of prime working age was either working or looking for work. But the labor force participation rate for men has been declining steadily since the mid-1960s, from almost 97 percent to about 88 percent today. There is a smaller percentage of men working now than in 1940, near the end of the Great Depression, when the overall unemployment rate was above 14 percent. Nicholas Eberstadt, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has called the case of the missing men a "quiet catastrophe," forgotten amid the broader story of America's economic recovery since the financial crisis. "It is well past time for America to recognize the collapse of work for men as the grave ill that it truly is," he says.