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美国国家公共电台 NPR Despite The Job Boom, More Men Are Giving Up On Work

时间:2019-12-09 02:14来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

These days, there is this paradox1 in the job market. The unemployment rate is as low as it's been in a half-century. But men in their prime working years are much more likely to be unemployed2 than they once were. Ten years after the Great Recession, many men have fallen through the cracks of the labor3 force, especially in rural areas.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE4: It's mid-afternoon on a sunny autumn day. But David Pierce is doing what he often does, sitting inside at his dining room table. He lives in the sleepy New York town of Apalachin. Until a few years ago, Pierce was busy and active. He worked as a chef and caterer5. He did community theater. Then, in his mid-50s, he was sidelined by diabetes6. He had to have part of a foot removed.

DAVID PIERCE: My health just went - got really downhill. It really took a turn for the worse. I was just - I couldn't maintain even a part-time schedule.

ZARROLI: Now he spends his days listening to classical music and surfing the net.

LONNA: Yeah. He's changed a lot. Well, we can't do what we did together, that's the thing that makes it the harder. And of course, it's wearing on, you know, on a marriage when you're not doing things together. And that's sad, you know. I mean, obviously, that's why you get married, you want to have a partner.

ZARROLI: And with David not working, money's tight. Lonna is a retired7 school librarian, but she's gone back to work temporarily. They're having to sell a rental8 house they own. A year ago, Pierce went on disability, officially leaving the workforce9 for good.

He's got plenty of company. The job market has rebounded10 sharply from a decade ago. But economist11 Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland says men ages 25 to 54 are still less likely to be employed than they once were.

MELISSA KEARNEY: The employment rate among these prime age men is still far below what it was in the '80s and '70s.

ZARROLI: In 1968, about 95% of men in their prime years were working. Today, even in a tight labor market, it's just 86%. Kearney says this decline has been almost entirely12 among those with a high school diploma or less or maybe a bit of college. These men once worked at the same rate as college graduates. Jonathan DeMarco hasn't had full-time13 work since 2006, when he was let go from a metal fabricating plant. He still looks for a regular job.

JONATHAN DEMARCO: Last one, Lowe's down in Oneonta, I told them right out. I was honest, said I have problems reading and writing. And they - I think that's the reason why they didn't hire me.

ZARROLI: DeMarco has leathery skin and thick gray hair that stands up like a rooster's coxcomb14. He concedes he's not well-suited to today's workplace. He doesn't like email. He can't understand why they won't let you smoke at work anymore. So he picks up odd jobs whenever he can find them. Like a lot of men in his situation, he depends on his wife to get by. She works in a factory.

DEMARCO: Her health is not the greatest. She was out of work the end of last year, the beginning of this year for four or five months. That put us way behind in the bills. You know, it's really hard.

ZARROLI: DeMarco lives in Schoharie County in the hilly farm country of upstate New York. The county's unemployment rate is a very low 3.8%. But Gail Breen, executive director of a local employment office, says the numbers mask a larger problem. Factories have closed over the years. Many men stopped looking for work a long time ago, which means the government doesn't even count them as part of the workforce anymore.

GAIL BREEN: There are a lot of hidden people in those numbers that don't have jobs.

ZARROLI: Like a lot of rural places, this part of New York state doesn't have much public transportation. So even if you find a job, it can be tough to get to work. Forty-year-old Frank Altieri lives in Owego, a quaint15, Victorian town along the Susquehanna River. He hasn't worked full-time since he got out of prison four years ago.

FRANK ALTIERI: Well, today, it's pretty much dead around here. There's no - hardly no work around here. One restaurant that's sitting up here on North Ave., he told me if I can get a car, I can do deliveries for him, and I'd get, like, 20% of that.

ZARROLI: But he has no car, and he's not likely to get one anytime soon. Altieri points out that if he works, he and his wife could lose their food stamps and monthly disability check. So unless the pay is decent, it doesn't make much sense to get a job. In the past, men like Altieri could move to big cities to find work. They'd make more money there. But economist Melissa Kearney says that's not true anymore.

KEARNEY: The wage premium16 for cities that everyone used to get, even that's disappeared for the non-college-educated.

ZARROLI: Kearney says a high school graduate in New York City or Boston doesn't earn much more than someone in a rural area. And the city's a lot more expensive, so it doesn't make sense to move. On the other hand, having a job is not just about making money.

Back in his dining room, David Pierce says that, as a chef, he used to spend all day on his feet cooking. Now he barely has the energy to make breakfast. And he's not really trained for office work. He's struggled with depression. He doesn't sleep well.

PIERCE: I think, you know, for a man, it was disabling in the fact that my career is my identity, who I am. And to lose that really affected17 me. I no longer could identify as, you know, the guy that was a wonder with food.

ZARROLI: The job market may be booming in much of the country right now, but a growing number of men in the prime of their lives have stopped working, and that can take a psychic18 toll19.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOONCAKE'S "NINE BILLION NAMES... (TO A. CLARKE)")


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 paradox pAxys     
n.似乎矛盾却正确的说法;自相矛盾的人(物)
参考例句:
  • The story contains many levels of paradox.这个故事存在多重悖论。
  • The paradox is that Japan does need serious education reform.矛盾的地方是日本确实需要教育改革。
2 unemployed lfIz5Q     
adj.失业的,没有工作的;未动用的,闲置的
参考例句:
  • There are now over four million unemployed workers in this country.这个国家现有四百万失业人员。
  • The unemployed hunger for jobs.失业者渴望得到工作。
3 labor P9Tzs     
n.劳动,努力,工作,劳工;分娩;vi.劳动,努力,苦干;vt.详细分析;麻烦
参考例句:
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
4 byline sSXyQ     
n.署名;v.署名
参考例句:
  • His byline was absent as well.他的署名也不见了。
  • We wish to thank the author of this article which carries no byline.我们要感谢这篇文章的那位没有署名的作者。
5 caterer caterer     
n. 备办食物者,备办宴席者
参考例句:
  • My wife went to a lot of trouble; she called a caterer. 我太太花了很多心血,她找了专办派对的人来。
  • The wedding reception has been organized by an outside caterer. 婚宴由外界的饮食公司承办。
6 diabetes uPnzu     
n.糖尿病
参考例句:
  • In case of diabetes, physicians advise against the use of sugar.对于糖尿病患者,医生告诫他们不要吃糖。
  • Diabetes is caused by a fault in the insulin production of the body.糖尿病是由体內胰岛素分泌失调引起的。
7 retired Njhzyv     
adj.隐退的,退休的,退役的
参考例句:
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
8 rental cBezh     
n.租赁,出租,出租业
参考例句:
  • The yearly rental of her house is 2400 yuan.她这房子年租金是2400元。
  • We can organise car rental from Chicago O'Hare Airport.我们可以安排提供从芝加哥奥黑尔机场出发的租车服务。
9 workforce workforce     
n.劳动大军,劳动力
参考例句:
  • A large part of the workforce is employed in agriculture.劳动人口中一大部分受雇于农业。
  • A quarter of the local workforce is unemployed.本地劳动力中有四分之一失业。
10 rebounded 7c3c38746f183ba5eac1521bcd358376     
弹回( rebound的过去式和过去分词 ); 反弹; 产生反作用; 未能奏效
参考例句:
  • The ball rebounded from the goalpost and Owen headed it in. 球从门柱弹回,欧文头球将球攻进。
  • The ball rebounded from his racket into the net. 球从他的球拍上弹回网中。
11 economist AuhzVs     
n.经济学家,经济专家,节俭的人
参考例句:
  • He cast a professional economist's eyes on the problem.他以经济学行家的眼光审视这个问题。
  • He's an economist who thinks he knows all the answers.他是个经济学家,自以为什么都懂。
12 entirely entirely     
ad.全部地,完整地;完全地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
13 full-time SsBz42     
adj.满工作日的或工作周的,全时间的
参考例句:
  • A full-time job may be too much for her.全天工作她恐怕吃不消。
  • I don't know how she copes with looking after her family and doing a full-time job.既要照顾家庭又要全天工作,我不知道她是如何对付的。
14 coxcomb kvqz6L     
n.花花公子
参考例句:
  • Jones was not so vain and senseless a coxcomb as to expect.琼斯并不是那么一个不自量,没头没脑的浪荡哥儿。
  • He is a plausible coxcomb.他是个巧言令色的花花公子。
15 quaint 7tqy2     
adj.古雅的,离奇有趣的,奇怪的
参考例句:
  • There were many small lanes in the quaint village.在这古香古色的村庄里,有很多小巷。
  • They still keep some quaint old customs.他们仍然保留着一些稀奇古怪的旧风俗。
16 premium EPSxX     
n.加付款;赠品;adj.高级的;售价高的
参考例句:
  • You have to pay a premium for express delivery.寄快递你得付额外费用。
  • Fresh water was at a premium after the reservoir was contaminated.在水库被污染之后,清水便因稀而贵了。
17 affected TzUzg0     
adj.不自然的,假装的
参考例句:
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
18 psychic BRFxT     
n.对超自然力敏感的人;adj.有超自然力的
参考例句:
  • Some people are said to have psychic powers.据说有些人有通灵的能力。
  • She claims to be psychic and to be able to foretell the future.她自称有特异功能,能预知未来。
19 toll LJpzo     
n.过路(桥)费;损失,伤亡人数;v.敲(钟)
参考例句:
  • The hailstone took a heavy toll of the crops in our village last night.昨晚那场冰雹损坏了我们村的庄稼。
  • The war took a heavy toll of human life.这次战争夺去了许多人的生命。
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