Many loose ends remain flapping in the breeze as we try to repair our damaged economy. One example: nearly two out of every 10 men ages 25 to 54 are still not working.

To put this in perspective, that’s an employment rate for this demographic of about 83 percent. In happier economic times, males in that age bracket enjoyed employment of 90 percent or over. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says right now, there are almost 46-million men in this age group employed. And that is actually lower than at the height of the recession.

Rutgers Economist Joseph Seneca says during the recent downturn, a lot of male-dominated manufacturing jobs were lost. But he quickly adds other sectors peopled by men were also affected as well, especially the finance sector, which carries heavy employment here in the New Jersey area. Seneca says, “these are harsh, harsh numbers.”

And it’s not just a matter of job or no job. Many men who have regained employment find they’re working for less or they are working partime, so their income has also taken a hit.