The August 24, 2011 issue of Business Week has an upsetting article titled The Slow Disappearance of the American Working Man. Here's some details from the piece:
The piece goes on to discuss how women (who currently account for 57% of jobs in the U.S.) have made up the majority of college students over the past 30 years and fit better into our data-driven economy. However, women continue to earn about 16 percent less than men and struggle against gender discrimination and career interruptions.
The portion of men holding a job—any job, full- or part-time—fell to 63.5 percent in July—hovering stubbornly near the low point of 63.3 percent it reached in December 2009. These are the lowest numbers in statistics going back to 1948. Among the critical category of prime working-age men between 25 and 54, only 81.2 percent held jobs, a barely noticeable improvement from its low point last year—and still well below the depths of the 1982-83 recession, when employment among prime-age men never dropped below 85 percent. In 1969 95 percent of men in their prime working years had a job. Median wages for men between 30 and 50 dropped 27 percent—to $33,000 a year— from 1969 to 2009, putting them back at their earnings capacity of the 1950s. Both men and women have confronted job losses in the weak economy. In July, 68.9 percent of women aged 25-54 had jobs, vs. 72.8 percent in January 2008. Unemployed men are now more likely than women to be among the long-term jobless.
All this going on while, at the same time, we've got companies struggling to hire workers with the right skills.
President Obama will layout a new jobs plan shortly after Labor Day and community colleges must be a major part of the solution. They are the perfect place for long-term jobless women and men to go and get the education and training needed for stable and well-paying careers.
If you are out of work and feel you have no prospects well..... you are 100% wrong. There is a ton of opportunity at your local community college. The fall semester has either just started or is starting soon. There is time right now to get yourself on track. The American Association of Community Colleges has a great interactive community college finder on their website - click here to link.