Jobs—and quality jobs—are on everyone’s mind. Policymakers on both sides of the aisle are keen to address the economic shifts that wiped out more than 5 million manufacturing jobs since 1990, leaving a growing number of families financially insecure and victim to the country’s growing economic inequality.
But what many policymakers miss is that the growth in services sector has added more jobs than were lost in manufacturing—9 million over the same time period. These jobs are fundamentally different in nature. Manufacturing, for example, boasts a higher proportion of men. But according to a recent report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and Oxfam America, many of the occupations that will add the most jobs by 2024, including health care support, administrative assistance, early childhood care and education, and food preparation and services, are comprised of more than 70 percent women. Meanwhile, a growing number of men have stopped looking for work all together This begs the question: Why aren’t men taking these jobs?