Millennial Unemployment Rate Rises In January
America as a whole may have faced a 7.9 unemployment rate in January—slightly higher than December—but the situation was much graver for the Millennial generation—those aged 18 to 29—which saw its unemployment rate rise from November’s 10.9 percent to 11.5 in December and 13.1 percent in January, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Even those Millennials with a college degree are statistically likely to struggle as America rises from recession. According to a 2009 Yale University study, students who graduate from college during a recession will earn 10 percent less after 10 years of work than they would had they entered the workforce in a strong economy.
In fact, according to the Economic Policy Institute, recent high school graduates’ wages declined a full 11.1 percent from 2000 to 2011 and college graduates’ wages fell by 5.4 percent.
Much of the blame for the rampant unemployment and underemployment of America’s Millennials can be placed right back on their parents. Their parenting tactics aren’t the culprit, instead it’s their longer careers. Left indebted from pre-Recession spending and Recession loss, they are not leaving their jobs, leaving less room for younger people to launch careers. And at 80 million in population, the Millennials need more jobs than even the 72-million strong baby boomer generation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since 2008 the portion of the workforce younger than 25 has decreased by more than 13 percent, yet the percentage of those older than 55 has increased by almost 8 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,” Kyle Storms, a recent graduate from Chapman University in California, told the Daily Beast. “Basically when unemployment goes up, it disenfranchises the younger generation because they are the least qualified.”
Still, college graduates have faced worse times. According to the Associated Press, as recent as 2000, 41 percent of recent college graduates were underemployed or unemployed. And even if those college diplomas aren’t a ticket to Easy Street the way they used to be, a Pew analysis of U.S. Census Data released in January found fewer recent college graduates are unemployed than the general population. In fact, according to a study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the unemployment rate of recent college graduates was just 6.8 percent in 2012—not only below the rate for all Millennials but also below the overall national rate.