Men without college degrees leaving the workforce, according to new study

Dec 9, 2022, 9:00 AM

a businessman is pictured looking at something, men in the workforce...

A study by the Boston Fed found that income inequality drives men without college degrees to leave the workforce. (Adobe Stock)

(Adobe Stock)

SALT LAKE CITY — Men without college degrees are leaving the workforce and have been for the last forty years according to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

The study looked at data between 1980 and 2019 and focused on men between 25 and 54 years old.

Regional Economist for the Department of Workforce Services Ben Crabb said the findings revolved more around income inequality than anything else.

Crabb said a large finding was that the higher the income inequality, the greater the effect.

“Even if their earnings were going up, if their share of all earnings among prime-age workers was going down, then they would leave the labor force at a greater rate.”

According to the study, the growing gap in pay between men without college degrees and their more-educated peers drives almost half of the loss.

But, Crabb said he doesn’t expect this to be as much of an issue in Utah.

“Finding that increase in inequality helped push these noncollege educated men out of the workforce, I think that effect will be a bit blunted in Utah because Utah tends to have less income inequality than other states.”

The study claims social status is likely a driving factor because pay often indicates social status. It also found that raises didn’t matter as much if they didn’t start to close the gap.

Researchers believe this combination of social and economic factors causes work dissatisfaction and is driving the exodus. 


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Business + Economy

A car is filled at a gas pump in Sandy on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Hurricane season could affect ga...

Britt Johnson

Hurricane season could mean bad news for Utah gas prices

Hurricane season is expected to be intense this year, and while none of them should hit Utah rising gas prices probably will. 

3 days ago

The Delta Center shown...


League approves new NHL team in Utah, owned by Ryan, Ashley Smith

The NHL Board Of Governors approved the establishment of a new hockey franchise (previously Arizona Coyotes) in Utah by Ryan Smith.

4 days ago

slc skyline, the state has introduced the Startup State Initiative...

Heather Peterson

Utah launches Startup State Initiative to help entrepreneurs and small businesses

The Startup State Initiative helps Utahns conduct market research, create a business plan, or network with community partners.

4 days ago

An NYU study shows that people with volatile work schedules are more likely to have health concerns...

Emma Keddington

Volatile work schedules linked to burnout and health problems

A new study finds that volatile work schedules causes burnout and is detrimental to overall health.

4 days ago

Signs are posted for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival on Main Street in Park City on Thursday, Jan. ...

Collin Leonard,

Sundance Institute seeks proposals for future location of film festival

The institute is asking for formal proposals in an initial information-gathering period.

5 days ago

alaska airlines flights...

KSL NewsRadio staff

FAA briefly grounds all Alaska Airlines flights, stop now lifted

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a nationwide ground stop for Alaska Airlines without giving a reason on Wednesday.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Men without college degrees leaving the workforce, according to new study