The nearly 3.7 million American babies born in 1982 weren’t special, except to their families. But in the eyes of demographers, they were categorically different from the 3.6 million Americans born in 1981. They were the first members of a new club: Generation Y.
This so-called millennial cohort, the largest generation in American history, landed in the cradle during an awful recession, learned to walk during the Reagan recovery, came of age in the booming 1990s, and entered the labor market after the Sept. 11 attacks and before the Great Recession, the two tragedies of the early 21st century. They’ve survived an eventful few decades.
Yet nothing in those vertiginous 30 years could have prepared them for the economic sledgehammer that followed the collapse of the housing market in 2007-08. And the aftereffects, economists fear, may dog them for the rest of their working lives.
Generation Y is the most educated in American history, but its education came at a price. Average debt for graduates of public universities doubled between 1996 and 2006. Students chose to take it on because they expected to find a job that paid it off; instead, they found themselves stranded in the worst economy in 80 years. Young people who skipped college altogether have faced something worse: depressed wages in a global economy that finds it easier than ever to replace jobs with technology or to move them overseas.
Finding a good job as a young adult has always been a game of chance. But more and more, the rules have changed: Heads, you lose; tails, you’re disqualified. The unemployment rate for young people scraped 18 percent in 2010, and in the past five years, real wages have fallen for millennials–and only for millennials.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
After four years of college, many graduates are ending up in jobs that only require the ability to operate a cash register with a smile. After commencement, a growing number young people say they have no choice but to take low-skilled jobs, according to a survey released this week. And while 63% of “Generation Y” workers — those … Continue reading »
The new Intergenerational Fairness Index shows that overall intergenerational unfairness has worsened in each successive year since 2000
On 26 June 2012, the Intergenerational Foundation marked the formal launch of the Intergenerational Fairness Index, representing the first attempt which has ever been made to systematically measure intergenerational unfairness across time by tracking a range of indicators.
Generation Y would choose workplace flexibility, work/life balance and the opportunity for overseas assignments over financial rewards, a study published by PwC has found. The PwC NextGen survey of 44,000 workers, in conjunction with the London Business School and the University of Southern California, reveals Generation Y are more likely to stay in a job … Continue reading »
Generation Y workers represent the management class of the future, yet they also exhibit a new-found job mobility which, from an employer’s point of view, is a ticking time-bomb of potential cost and disruption to their businesses. The iOpener Institute in October 2012 gathered and studied questionnaire responses relating to workforce issues from over 18,000 … Continue reading »
Europe’s lost generation / Youth unemployment exceeds 60 percent in Greece, is above 50 percent in Spain and tops 40 percent in Portugal
Children across Europe are being driven into poverty by harsh government austerity and youth unemployment is soaring, threatening to create “lost generations” that could fire up a new continental crisis. Global charity Caritas said on Thursday that around three out of every 10 children in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain are in or have … Continue reading »
When she embarked on a university degree at 18, Caroline never imagined she would still be living like a student a decade later, unable to land a permanent job and stuck in a cramped spare room in her father’s flat. An engaging 27-year-old with a literature degree and a masters in communications, she is one … Continue reading »