My wife and I weren’t aware we were graduating into a major recession in the early 1970s. Actually, it wasn’t until we read The New York Times today that we became aware of how bad things were back then. In fact, the job market was just as bad then as it is today.
My wife and I both landed jobs in our desired profession — newspaper reporting. She got the first job she applied for and I had to work just a little harder before finding my first reporting job. We thought it was dumb luck. My wife observed this morning that terms like “connections, networking and career path” didn’t exist back then, but that’s how we landed both of our jobs. From the moment we arrived at Indiana State, we got involved in college activities and soon joined the campus newspaper staff. These activities and good academic advisers helped lay the groundwork for our careers, and created a network that we’re still part of today.
The page one Times article by Louis Uchitelle notes that the unemployment rate for college-educated young adults is 5.5%, nearly twice what it was in 2007 when this recession began. Fortunately, surveys show that a majority of Millennials are confident that they will have good careers. “They are better educated than previous generations and they were raised by baby boomers who lavished a lot of attention on their children,” said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. That explains the reason for optimism.
The Times article follows the job pursuit by Scott Nicholson, 24, a Colgate University honors grad, who turned down a corporate job because he felt it wasn’t the right fit for his long-term career plans. Telling his father was tougher than turning down the job, thus underscoring the generational divide between Millennials and Boomers. His father felt that the would get Scott started on a corporate career path, not necessarily put him in a dead-end position. While the entire article merits reading, the following charts summarize some key issues facing Millennials.