While feminists continue to promote the thoroughly debunked 23 percent "gender wage gap" myth, statistical data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals a troubling trend among young men: "More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder."
A new U.S. Census Bureau analysis found that over the last four decades, young men have seen their income decline dramatically, despite working full-time at the same rate and being better educated than before. Since 1975, the study found, the percentage of young men who are making less than $30,000 per year has risen significantly:
Since 1975, young men have swelled the ranks at the bottom of the income distribution. Some 41 percent of all men aged 25 to 34 have incomes less than $30,000 today, up from 25 percent in 1975. Growth at the bottom, and to a smaller extent the top, came at the expense of the middle. Between 1975 and 2016, the share of young men with incomes in the middle ($30,000 to $59,999) fell from 49 percent to 35 percent, while the share at the very top ($100,000 or more) grew from 3 percent to 8 percent (Table 2).
During that period, young women have seen "considerable" improvement in both income levels and workforce participation, though they still are lagging behind men in median income, something that trends suggest will not be the case soon:
Over the last four decades, young women have made considerable economic gains. The median income of women aged 25 to 34 who were working rose from $23,000 to $29,000 between 1975 and today (in 2015 dollars, Table 2). At the same time, the share of young women who earned $60,000 or more grew from about 2 percent to 13 percent—a minority, but still a sizeable change. Even with this change, however, the median income of young women is still $11,000 lower than the income of young men.
The Census Bureau notes that overall full-time employment for young people as improved over the last four decades; the "driving force" behind that trend is almost entirely women. The number of men between ages 25 to 34 with full-time jobs has remained "about the same today as it was in 1975," while "the share of young women who were employed has risen from just under one-half to over two-third."
In its article on the Census Bureau analysis, The Boston Globe summarizes some of the key developments that appear to be impacting young men's income levels, including men falling behind academically as compared to women, who are now the majority of college graduates (in fact, here's The Washington Post celebrating how much women are "dominating" men at school). Another major factor is the loss of blue-collar jobs to mechanization and overseas production, while "female-dominated professions," like healthcare, have risen. The Globe reports:
Men have also fallen behind academically, and, combined with the fact that manufacturing and other lower-skilled jobs have disappeared, this has created a “riptide that is carrying so many young men out to sea economically,” said Neil Sullivan, executive director of the Boston Private Industry Council, a workforce development nonprofit.
The increasingly fractured economy is affecting workers of all ages. Wages have stagnated, while the cost of living and student debt have skyrocketed, and college graduates are taking lower-level jobs than in the past. But men are being hit particularly hard, as many of them are forced to take contract or part-time work.