Unemployment higher among men as promising jobs go unfilled

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Unemployment is plaguing men in greater numbers than women at a time when employers in promising fields are going wanting for workers.

I was reading a BusinessWeek story about why men are having a tougher time than women when it comes to keeping, losing and regaining jobs. The reason is clear as can be: The typical college campus churns out graduates that are 60% female and 40% male.

Women are getting it that college education is extremely important. For whatever reason, men are not getting that message. That’s a big shift in our culture.

My wife jokes that when she was growing up, her parents scrimped and saved to put her two older brothers through prestigious private universities. One became a doctor and the other a lawyer. Yet when it was her turn to go to school, she was told to go find a scholarship to pay for tuition!

In her era, it was more optional for women to get a college degree. But for guys from families that had a college tradition, it was automatic. We have come to complete reversal now. That puts women in a position to grab jobs that guys can’t qualify for.

Whatever we do in the country, we need to get back to the idea of education, training and continuing education being key to finding full-time employment, for both men and women.

The truly disturbing thing is that many jobs are going unfilled because people don’t have the skills employers need. I recently shared a couple of lists on the air that named the highest-paying two-year and four-year degrees.

So there is opportunity even in the midst of a sluggish economic cycle. In general, the tougher a degree program you go into, the better the paycheck and the greater the career-advancement possibilities. Go with the hard sciences and engineering if they interest you. That will make all the difference in your income during your working lifetime.

Editor’s note: Today’s broadcast originated from Greensboro, N.C., as Clark was on book tour for his New York Times No. 1 bestselling book, Clark Howard’s Living Large in Lean Times. Special thanks to FM Talk 101.1 WZTK for hosting Clark during the event.



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