Mike Rowe Slams the Lack of Work Ethic in Young Americans

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

Always up for speaking his mind when it comes to the workforce, Mike Rowe slammed the lack of work ethic in young Americans. 

During his appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Thursday (November 17th), Rowe discussed the lax work ethic in the labor force as well as the growing number of able-bodied men who are not seeking jobs. He stated that seven million men between the ages of 25 and 40 are not only working but not interested in entering the workforce. “That’s never happened in peacetime,” he said. “Ever.”

Rowe then highlighted findings from economist Nick Eberstadt, which revealed the labor market post-COVID-19. It also observed why employers are now struggling to get people into the workforce. “Economists like Nick Eberstadt take a dim view of it,” Rowe explained. “They’re worried, and they’re trying to inject that into the conversation at a time when we’re still looking at the unemployment number as the true harbinger of what’s really going on.”

Rowe also shared that according to Eberstadt’s observations, the unemployment number is a “depression era” artifact. “We’re looking at the wrong thing. We’re looking at not what it means to have a bunch of people unemployed, but what does it mean to have a bunch of [opportunities] that nobody gives a damn about?”

Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson asked what young men are doing with their time instead of actively job hunting. “On average, over 2,000 hours a year on screens,” Rowe answered. “You know, 4 million fewer people are in the workforce today than before the lockdowns and 4 million more jobs have opened up. It’s almost a perfect mirror image and the reflection is kind of hideous.”

Mike Rowe Previously Called Out Lack of Appreciation For Blue-Collar Work

Last month, Rowe spoke about the lack of appreciation for blue-collar work in America. “There are two different things. Realization and appreciation,” Rowe explained while on Hannity. “Most of us have never really realized it, but we’ve always intuitively appreciate it. We know that when we flip the switch and the light comes on, that that’s the result of a miracle. And that miracle is made possible by men and women doing things out of sight and out of mind.”

Rowe also pointed out that COVID-19 had something to do with appreciation issues. “I think in a lot of ways, COVID gave us a wake-up call, but I’m afraid it did something else, too, honestly. I’ll tell you what nobody’s talking about. No one is talking about the 7 million able-bodied men who are not only unemployed today, but who have affirmatively left the workforce.”

Mike Rowe went on to add, “If we don’t fix that, we’re on that part of the map where it says, ‘Here Be Dragons’ because we don’t know what’s coming next.”