Some Men Don't Want "Pink Collar" Jobs, Even if It Means No Job

According to The New York Times, while more than one fifth of American men aren't working, they also aren't grabbing hold of the latest service sector jobs.

That's because those jobs require skill sets that have been traditionally reserved for women — meaning they pay less.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that while mostly male-dominated blue-collar jobs in industries like locomotives and electronics are going downhill, some of the fastest-growing jobs are largely female occupations known as "pink collar" jobs.

These include various health-aide positions like in-home health care, nursing, and occupational therapy.

"I ain't gonna be a nurse; I don't have the tolerance for people," said Tracy Dawson, 53, an unemployed welder who was interviewed by The New York Times. "I don't want it to sound bad, but I've always seen a woman in the position of a nurse or some kind of health care worker. I see it as more of a woman's touch."'

The 'woman's touch' he's talking about could have more to do with the fact that health aides earn $10.50 an hour on average, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, while Dawson used to earn $18 an hour, The Times reports.

But Dawson and other men like him are now experiencing a limited job market.

"Traditional masculinity is standing in the way of working-class men's employment, and I think it's a problem," said sociologist Andrew Cherlin, responding to this phenomenon.

But more men taking on these typically "pink collar" jobs could help change the stigmatization around them. The article notes that they would have "more job security and wage growth than in blue-collar work."

"We have a cultural lag where our views of masculinity have not caught up to the change in the job market," Cherlin said.

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