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Why have middle-aged men disappeared from the labor market?

Gianna Smirek, Lydia Depiris, Ben CasselmanSaturday, December 3, 2022 at 7:00 am:10 pmPaul Rizzo with his wife

Tiffany and his sons Chase and Ryder outside his home in Kenner, Louisiana, November 28, 2022. (Emily Kask/The New York Times)

Paul his Rizzo with his wife Tiffany and sons Chase and Ryder outside their home in Kenner, Louisiana, Nov. 28, 2022. (Emily Cusk/New York Times)For the past five months, Paul Rizzo, 38, has been delivering groceries and groceries through the DoorDash app.

This reflects the surprising tendency of middle-aged men. Last Christmas, after learning that his job as an analyst for a hospital company was being automated, Lizzo decided to stay home and take care of his two young sons. His wife wanted him to return to work, and after more than a decade of corporate turmoil and repeated disappointments, he was disappointed with his own career. Rizzo`s decision to retire at the height of his career hints at one of the biggest surprises in today's job market.Hundreds of thousands of men in their late 30s to early 40s quit their jobs during the pandemic and have been on the fringes of the labor market ever since.

Rizzo is making money again these days, but many men his age seem to be staying away from paid work altogether. This is an anomaly, as employment rates are recovering more in women of the same age, and in both young and older men. - Advertising ​​- Sign up for the New York Times Morning Newsletter About 89.7% of men aged 35-44 were working or looking for work in November, up from 90.9�fore the pandemic.

The group's employment rate showed signs of recovery last month, but was unusually low on average last year. The decline in middle-aged male labor force participation rates spans racial groups, but is most concentrated among men, like Rizzo, who do not have a four-year college degree. Men have been out of work for decades.

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