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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kotkin: Are Millennials the Screwed Generation?

This column - via Instapundit! - by Joel Kotkin is very depressing when you continue to read the whole thing. I'm a long way from saying the "millennials" are screwed, but certainly things aren't looking good for them right now as many of them graduate college. There are a lot of issues worth tackling here, but let's just show a quote from this piece first:
Today’s youth, both here and abroad, have been screwed by their parents’ fiscal profligacy and economic mismanagement. Neil Howe, a leading generational theorist, cites the “greed, shortsightedness, and blind partisanship” of the boomers, of whom he is one, for having “brought the global economy to its knees.”

How has this generation been screwed? Let’s count the ways, starting with the economy. No generation has suffered more from the Great Recession than the young. Median net worth of people under 35, according to the U.S. Census, fell 37 percent between 2005 and 2010; those over 65 took only a 13 percent hit.

The wealth gap today between younger and older Americans now stands as the widest on record. The median net worth of households headed by someone 65 or older is $170,494, 42 percent higher than in 1984, while the median net worth for younger-age households is $3,662, down 68 percent from a quarter century ago, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center.

The older generation, notes Pew, were “the beneficiaries of good timing” in everything from a strong economy to a long rise in housing prices. In contrast, quick prospects for improvement are dismal for the younger generation.

One key reason: their indebted parents are not leaving their jobs, forcing younger people to put careers on hold. Since 2008 the percentage of the workforce under 25 has dropped 13.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while that of people over 55 has risen by 7.6 percent.

“Employers are often replacing entry-level positions meant for graduates with people who have more experience because the pool of applicants is so much larger. Basically when unemployment goes up, it disenfranchises the younger generation because they are the least qualified,” observes Kyle Storms, a recent graduate from Chapman University in California.
Consider me one of those who graduated from college within the last three years who hasn't found the job necessary to comfortably pay off those student loans I took during my time in school. It's frustrating although hey I chose to do those loans, no one else forced me and still I'm very appreciative of my degree. Still I consider myself underemployed and it's not for lack of trying. The jobs aren't out there and there are plenty of people who are looking. At that it's certainly an employers market as they have a tough job of picking and choosing who they want to work for them and they also know there are many looking for work so they look for an excuse to get rid of one a worker and then add someone else. It's tough out there!

Read the whole thing!

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