Few Americans were immune to the recession, but the plight of young men continues to be particularly dire. The unemployment rate for male high-school grads ages 25 to 34 is 14.4%, far above the 9% national average; the figure also marks a huge jump from the 6.1% jobless rate they faced before the downturn, the Wall Street Journal reports. Even worse off are high-school educated men ages 20 to 24, who suffer a whopping 22.5% jobless rate.
Meanwhile, some 18.6% of men 25 to 34 are living with their parents, the highest rate since 1960. “We're at risk of having a generation of young males who aren't well-connected to the labor market and who don't feel strong ownership of community or society because they haven't benefited from it,” says a public health professor. The Journal follows the story of two 25-year-old men who went from comfortable construction jobs and up-and-coming lifestyles to sporadic, lesser-paid jobs and living with multiple roommates or mom and dad. “I wasn't living, I was surviving,” says one.