Young Men Are Being Squeezed Out Of The Middle Class

Reuters/Rebecca Cook

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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The percentage of young men making between $30,000 and $100,000 a year drastically decreased from 1975 to 2015, according to April analysis from the US Census Bureau.

Forty-one percent of all men aged 25 to 34 have incomes less than $30,000 today, up from 25 percent in 1975. Men making more than $100,000 a year increased from 3 percent to 8 percent over the same time period. The rise in men making less than $30,000 and in men making more than $100,000 comes at the expense of the middle, according to the report.

Men making between $30,000 and $59,999 fell 14 percent, from 49 percent to 35 percent. While young men have been pressured by a rise in automation and the outsourcing of middle class manufacturing jobs, the median income of young women has risen significantly over the same four decades. Women aged 25 to 34 who were working saw their incomes rise from $23,000 to $29,000 from 1975 to 2015, according to the report.

Female-dominated professions are among the fastest growing in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs in the healthcare industry, including occupational therapists, home care aides and nurses are some of the most in-demand professions in the country.

The report measured four common experiences that researchers have historically used to signify the transition of adulthood: leaving home, work, marriage, and parenthood. In 1975, 45 percent of those aged 25 to 34 checked all four boxes, the most common combination of the four milestones. 22 percent fulfilled three of the milestones, but did not work outside of the home (oftentimes a married mother).

Today, the experiences of that same age group are much more diverse. While still the most common combination, only 25 percent of those aged 25 to 34 meet all four milestones, compared to the 45 percent in 1975. The second most common combination in 2015 includes living away from home and working without children or a spouse, with close to 25 percent fitting this combination.

With the rise in automation and availability of cheap labor overseas, young men are increasingly forced into lower paying, service industry jobs. One industry that is expected to be hit hard in the coming decade is the trucking industry, where 3.5 million truckers, many of them male, are expected to be replaced by self-driving vehicles.

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