Magazine article Workforce Management

Youth and Consequences

Magazine article Workforce Management

Youth and Consequences

Article excerpt

Some cynics have taken to calling today's teenagers and 20-somethings "the lost generation." They believe unemployed and underemployed members of the millennial generation will never recover--financially or emotionally--from the deep recession.

It's a pessimistic view that I don't share. I will acknowledge that some scarred millennials have retreated back home to their parents, and those young people spend more time on social networks chatting with friends than using the same social media to reach out to potential employers. But I believe many other millennials can be highly resourceful. They will keep banging on employers' doors and may eventually try starting their own enterprises if companies continue to reject them.

Although millennials may not possess the same intense work ethic as baby boomers, they have set very high expectations for themselves.That's why the abysmal job market came as such a shock. Used to succeeding by doing all the right things, millennials assumed attending a good college and achieving a high GPA would just naturally result in a fabulous job. Unemployment was unthinkable.

Unfortunately, it has turned out to be quite real and far-reaching. Last December, the U.S. unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds was a stunning 25.4 percent, and for 20- to 24-year-olds, the rate stood at 15.3 percent. In some countries, the jobless rate for millennials is even higher. Spain's youth unemployment rate topped 40 percent last year, and it exceeded 30 percent in Greece, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Addressing the urgency of global youth unemployment last month, Manpower Inc. chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres recommended more training programs, more incentives for entrepreneurship and more aggressive promotion of skilled trade careers.

At least for well-educated millennials, the job market is starting to loosen up. Our story this month about the MBA recruiting rebound offers hope, but many recruiters are only in hot pursuit of the best and brightest at the top tier universities. Students at many colleges and business schools still struggle to find any job; too often they wind up in positions that don't match their qualifications. What a dramatic change from little more than a decade ago. When I was writing about business education at the tail end of the dot-com boom, recruiters were showering MBA students with rich signing bonuses, stock options, tuition reimbursement, mortgage assistance, luxury car leases and other goodies. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.