The decline in male workers is concentrated almost entirely among men with high school diplomas or less, or even a bit of college, she says. At one time, men of all educational levels were equally likely to be working; today, a huge gap has opened up, with many more college graduates holding jobs.

Simply put, there’s much less demand for the labor of less-educated men, Kearney says.

“They’re competing now with low-wage workers around the globe, and that’s depressed domestic demand for their skills in the workforce,” she says.