July 11, 2011

MICHAEL BARONE: Man-Cession Ends As Men Learn New Job Skills.

What I see beneath these data is something like this — a picture of men hustling to acquire new skills and learn how to do different jobs than they have in the past, while women have been more likely to sit back and accept whatever the macroeconomy doles out.

A lot of men seem to have figured out that health and education, as Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz argue in the lead article in the latest National Affairs, have become the “commanding heights” of the economy.

What we are seeing, I think, is that individuals, most of them men, have been responding to cues sent by the market economy and have been adjusting far more rapidly than centrally designed government programs could ever do. . . . What I see beneath these data is something like this — a picture of men hustling to acquire new skills and learn how to do different jobs than they have in the past, while women have been more likely to sit back and accept whatever the macroeconomy doles out.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Reader Rosie Moore writes:

Michael Barone’s piece states that most job losses during the recession were in the private sector while gains were made in public sector jobs, then doesn’t connect the dots by noting that most health and education jobs (credited for easing the man-cession) are in the public sector. This means that with the exception of retail, which is overwhelmingly private but low-rung on the pay scale, the job “rebound” for men comes almost exclusively from public sector jobs that got direct “stimulation” (and will end at some point, presumably?) I see this less as an encouraging sign than as a shift to public sector jobs (largely union) which seems to be a goal of this administration. Love Michael Barone’s perspective but I read this one and thought “ugh” rather than “yippee”.

That’s my reaction to most economic news lately.