Federal data reveal that young men are more likely than ever to stay out of the labor force while living at their parents’ homes.
In the 1990s, 15% of 25-year-old to 34-year-old men without a bachelor’s degree lived with their parents. Over the past three decades, the number has risen to 25%, according to The Conference Board. For young men with degrees, living-at-home rates increased from 10% to 13%.
Through roughly the same period, labor force participation rates — the percentage of people who either have a job or are actively looking for one — have dropped from 93% to 87% among young men.
“A growing percentage of young men without a bachelor’s degree are living at home,” summarized The Conference Board. “This trend is contributing to a lower labor force participation.”
In an interview with The Daily Wire, Michael Foster — pastor of East River Church in Batavia, Ohio, and author of “It’s Good to Be a Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity” — explained that low male engagement in the economy is at least partially explained by a departure from American society’s embrace of manhood.
“Men aren’t going to flourish in any culture where they are taught to despise their masculine nature from a very young age,” Foster explained. “The energy of boys is subdued by over prescribed medicine. Their competitiveness is dulled by participation trophies. Their daring risk-taking nature is drained from them by a society that worships at the altar of safetyism.”
“Growing up in such a culture doesn’t exactly feed the fires of masculine ambition. They are taught to be ashamed of their masculinity,” he continued. “Consequently, they retract into a virtual world of porn and games where they can live out twisted or reduced versions of their natural masculine desires.”
Amid these crushing cultural trends, parents are often not sure how to aid their sons.
“It’s difficult to give disheartened and disillusioned men the desire to overcome the challenges of our time. I don’t think most parents know what to do,” Foster said. “Many of them understand the economic difficulties and so they allow their sons to stay at home. This, in turn, feeds a vicious cycle. After all, it’s pretty emasculating for a grown man to depend on his parents for basic needs.”
Foster called for a return to the embrace of godly masculinity — which leads to the mutual flourishing of men and women.
“We’ve got to be done with the modern thinking which approaches the wellbeing of the sexes as a zero-sum game,” Foster stated. “The success of one sex doesn’t undermine the success of the other. God made two sexes and called them both good. A world where masculine men flourish is a world where feminine women will flourish. We need to scream from the rooftops that, yes, it’s good to be a woman, but it’s also good to be a man. That’s step number one.”