6 Areas in the U.S. Where Prime-Age Men Are Unemployed

More than 90 percent of men ranging from ages 25 to 54 are working across the United States. However, for some men in their prime, they are unemployed or out of work.

At least 16 percent of prime-age men are not counted for in the workforce. This number has tripled since 1968.

This group of men account for those who are retired, disabled, enrolled in school, or taking care of family responsibilities.

A survey taken from 2009 to 2013 discovered that most of these prime-age men would never hold a steady job.

Take a look at some of the common areas in the U.S. where men are known to be jobless:

1. New York City

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The "Big Apple" would seem like a place that has a ton of available jobs waiting on every corner, but surprisingly enough, it’s one those places where there are 48 percent of prime-age men not working. Exactly 28 percent in the Bronx, 17 percent in Queens, and 3 percent in Upper East Side Manhattan are unemployed. 

2. West Virginia

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons 

In McDowell, West Virginia, more than 45 percent of men are jobless. Economists associate this figure with “low levels of educational attainment” and a suffering coal industry specifically located in the greater Appalachia—which is positioned between West Virginia and Kentucky.  

3. Washington D.C.


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Washington, D.C. is reportedly one of the most educated areas in the country, with almost 50 percent of young adults older than 25 with a bachelor’s degree. For the most part, this region and other counties surrounding it have more people working than not. However, in certain areas located in eastern Washington, the employment rate is low among communities that are both predominately white and African-American.

4. North and South Dakota

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Although the Dakotas had some of the lowest unemployment rates last October and currently the healthiest economies in the U.S., there is a large number of men who are not working. In South Dakota the rate was 3.3 percent and in North Dakota it was 2.8 percent. Yet, in some areas of the Dakotas, some men are unemployed or are not actively looking for a job. Specifically in the Sioux reservations, employment numbers are low.

5. Arizona and New Mexico

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

These are two states where health insurance coverage and unemployment rates show similar patterns. Usually when employment is down, healthcare coverage tends to be down as well. Before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, jobless men also didn’t have any form of medical insurance. Since the new law passed in 2010, men can can obtain coverage without being in the workforce.

6. California

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Some of California’s most popular cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have up to 20 percent unemployed men in their prime. Yet, California’s job market is consumed with more than 95 percent of prime-age workingmen. Overall, the working population in the state is young professionals with college degrees, making it one of the richest regions next to New York City.

Most of these prime-aged men have been out of work for months to several years. This trend has become more common now then what it was in the 1950s and 60s. 

Interestingly, the male employment rate today in those specific areas still resembles what it was more than 60 years ago.


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The New York Times-"Where Men Aren’t Working"