That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, and it is not just about male wage stagnation:
The researchers Guido Matias Cortes, Nir Jaimovich and Henry E. Siu split jobs into categories, with “cognitive” occupations relying on brain power corresponding closely to what many call white-collar jobs. Their worrying result for men is this: In 1980, 66 percent of college-educated men worked in these cognitive occupations. By 2000, that had fallen to 63 percent. Those three percentage points may not sound like a major change, but that’s over a 20-year period when the American economy became wealthier and more Americans became educated. Men also grew older as a group during this time, which should have propelled them into more white-collar jobs. Relative to those expectations of improvement, the retrogression is startling.
…One possible reason for this shift is that more jobs demand good social skills. The data show that the growing demand for social skills, as measured by job characteristics and employment ads, has matched where women have gained relative to men in the workplace. The researchers suggest the scientific evidence shows that women have on average stronger skills in empathy, communication, emotion recognition and verbal expression, and corporate America is valuing those qualities all the more.
There is much more at the link.