Growing Percentage of Men 25-to-54 Say 'Home Responsibilities' Keep Them Out of Labor Force

By Susan Jones | January 8, 2016 | 5:23am EST
(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Among the data it tracks, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics counts how many people are not participating in the labor force; and in a new report, it also examined the reasons people give for their non-participation: retirement, illness or disability, home responsibilities, school, or "other reasons."

The report looked at peoples' non-participation in the labor force by age and gender for the years 2014 (the most recent year for which data is available) and 2004.

In the year 2014, 763,000 men between the ages of 25 and 54 cited "home responsibilities" as their reason for not working or looking for work. Those 763,000 men were 1.2 percent of the total male civilian noninstitutional population in that age group.

Back in 2004, 577,000 men in this age group (or 0.9 percent) cited "home responsiblities" as their reason for not working/not looking for a job.

Men 25-54 were the only group to record an increase in "home responsibilities" as a reason for not working between 2004 and 2014.

Less educated men -- those with less than a college degree -- were more likely to claim "home responsibilities" as a reason for not participating in the labor force.

Although far more women than men cited home responsiblities as their reason for not working, the percentage of women claiming this reason did not change from 2004 to 2014: In both of those years, 14.3 percent of women ages 25-54 said they did not work because of home responsibilities.

Among 16- to 19-year-olds of both genders, the percentage citing home responsiblities dropped from 2.6 percent in 2004 to 2.0 percent in 2014; and in the 20-24 age bracket (both genders) the percentage dropped from 5.7 in 2004 to 4.3 in 2014.

Among these younger people, the percentage not in the labor force rose sharply and the most-often-cited reason for not working was school attendance.

The proportion of men 25-54 who were not in the labor force rose from 9.2 percent in 2004 to 11.5 percent in 2014. In both years, the largest share of men in that age bracket who were not in the labor force reported illness or disability as their reason for not working. From 2004 to 2014, the percentage of men 25 to 54 who did not work or even seek a job because of illness or disability increased from 5.3 percent to 6.0 percent.

In general, women were more likely than men to be nonparticipants in the labor force. The percentage of women 25-54 who were not in the labor force rose from 21.9 percent in 2004 to 24.2 percent in 2014.

In both 2004 and 2014, 14.3 percent of women 25 to 54 years said they did not work because of home responsibilities, as noted above. The percentage of women who did not work because of illness or disability increased from 4.8 percent in 2004 to to 5.7 percent in 2014.

The proportion of older adults (55-64 and over-65) who were not in the labor force declined from 2004 to 2014.

These older adults were most likely to cite retirement as the main reason for not working, although the percentage who cited this reason fell. The percentage of older adults citing illness or disability as the main reason for not working increased.

The report -- titled "People who are not in the labor force: why aren't they working?" -- is based on data gathered by the Current Population Survey and its Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

MRC Store