Unemployment Insurance: The Hidden Barrier Keeping Young Men Out of the Workforce


Quick Hits

  1. Unemployment Insurance’s Impact: The experience-rating system discourages hiring young men due to potential financial penalties associated with layoffs.
  2. Employment Statistics: Employment rates for young men have significantly dropped since the mid-20th century, with only 52% of men aged 16 to 24 currently employed.
  3. Reforming UI: Addressing and reforming the experience-rating system could mitigate employers’ reluctance to hire young men


    By Samuel Lopez, Reporter for USA Herald

    [USA HERALD] – America’s young men aren’t working. A smaller share of them aren’t working, anyway. As of April, about 86% of prime-age men — those between 25 and 54 — were employed, a significant drop from the 1950s and 1960s when that number was closer to 95%. Even more concerning, only 52% of men aged 16 to 24 are working today, compared to well over 60% decades ago.

    There are many explanations for this trend — economic recessions, disabilities, low wages, and more. However, one factor that isn’t often discussed is the unemployment-insurance (UI) system and the way firings are handled. The system may actually be a significant deterrent to hiring young men in the first place.