Economic growth hinges on growth in the labor force and increases in the skills of that labor force. America has been falling short on both. One consequence is that America's workers' wages have been stagnating.
Industry Week says, Everything Is Booming Except for Americans' Wages, Here is the link
One factor in the slow growth of the American work force is that prime age males have been leaving the labor force, Prime-Age Men May Never Return to US Workforce, Fed Paper Says, Here is the link
Here's a quote from the FED research paper on prime age males,
"The labor force participation rate for prime-age men (age 25 to 54) in the United States has declined dramatically since the 1960s, but the decline has accelerated more recently. From 1996 to 2016, the share of prime-age men either working or actively looking for work decreased from 91.8 percent to 88.6 percent. In 1996, 4.6 million prime-age men did not participate in the labor force. By 2016, this number had risen to 7.1 million."
If you want to learn more about this you can go to the Fed paper itself. Click here
And for even more on the decline in male participation in the labor force read this on why men are leaving the American work force from NPR
Apprenticeships play a minor role in the preparation of the American labor force than in many other advanced nations, with Germany being a leader in the use of apprenticeships. Read this
To read how American work force issues may be holding the American economy back read How a Less-Skilled American Workforce May Be Holding Back Growth Wall Street Journal.