(SPONSORED) — As the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, some are wondering why the workforce is not getting back to normal levels.

Director of Data-Driven Economic Strategies Tatiana Bailey explains why things are not quite back to where they were before 2020.

Bailey explains that low labor participation, especially among working-aged men, is not a new phenomenon. It started decades ago, became worse during the Great Recession, and was further affected by the pandemic.

The decline is most apparent in men ages 35 to 44, and Bailey says this is because those men were entering the job market or early in their careers during the Great Recession. Many of those men had trouble finding work or lost their jobs during that time.

The recovery took almost a decade, and with little, to no experience, these young men had difficulty reentering the job market. For those who did reenter, many lost their jobs during the pandemic.

As Bailey explains during the 1960s manufacturing jobs began to decrease in number, taking away some of the opportunities for living wage jobs, social norms have also shifted, and it is more culturally acceptable for men to stay at home with the kids.

“I’ve always thought that paid training would be a great investment for U.S. economic growth because workers could be trained in high-demand occupations with livable wages and become taxpayers,” said Bailey.