Job Market Still Frustrating for Young Workers

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Job frustrations are high and available careers are low in the current economy, especially among young workers trying to earn a living. Many are college graduates who still have trouble finding a good job, and this is even more true as they look for an opportunity in their field of study. It is not uncommon for post-college kids to work in a profession entirely different from what they attended school for. The young woman with the degree in Animation may have to make due with a small position at a minor market research agency; the film grad is working in child daycare; the journalism major cold-calls strangers for surveys.

With so little to look forward to, trapped in a job they do not enjoy and having to keep working in to pay the bills, is it any wonder so many employees grow disillusioned about their place in the workforce? Many job hunters have given up and left the workforce. “Job-hopping,” the practice of working a relatively short time at one place of employment before moving to another, has become a double-edged sword for millenials. Moving where the money goes is important to stay active and gain success, but at the same time job-hopping to the “better” jobs has gotten harder, and moving from one field to another can be a horizontal rather than a vertical process.

The job market has even more frustrations on the younger set who want to work but did not complete college, and even for those who “only” have a Bachelor’s degree. Once upon a time, spending four years in college and walking out with a higher degree was considered a ticket to a good job. Now, in a time when Bachelor’s degrees are plentiful and jobs are not, they can be essentially useless.

Even with money coming in, it can be hard to make ends meet, especially with thousands of dollars of student debt looming over their heads. Those who cannot meet the steep monthly fees imposed on them by bank loans and federal loans go into default, damaging their credit. Income tax returns can be wholly swallowed up by the federal government once a federal loan has gone into default. Other loans can end up in collections with daily calls for payments.

Some jobs require a financial background check. Previous financial hardship can haunt those on the hunt for work, as they struggle to get a job while battling fines, the loss of a car, or some other difficulty. One past mistake can circumvent financial freedom. When a job is finally found, the pay might be minimum wage or rely on commissions. Hours can be cut. Even working, the money can pour in slowly.

To make matters worse, “soft skills” are lacking in the younger generation. Communication, creativity, and the ability to “write well” are down in young people. The amount of employers claiming that applicants lacking in soft skills such as interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate went up ten percentage points over a two-year period, Time reported in Nov. 2013.

Frustrations continue to run high for workers of the younger set. Because jobs are less available for young people, and because those who have jobs are receiving small wages, it is not a surprise that government assistance becomes a Band-Aid to help the issue.  However, it can only treat the symptoms and will not provide long-term stability.

by Jillian Moyet

Huffington Post
Washington Post – Job-Hopping
Washington Post – Getting the Unemployed Back to Work

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