Younger generations facing battles in job market, economy, growing wealth

June 18, 2013 3:32:04 AM PDT
When it comes to financial independence, a quarter of all teenagers estimate they'll be 25 to 27 years old before they're completely independent from mom and dad. Why?

Considered by some to be the hardest hit group in this recession, if you're a millennial, chances are your struggles in finding a job out of college may be more difficult than you think. It's raising concerns with many.

Shelly Marshall has every right to be hopeful. She's newly married and just graduated from college.

"Nearly half of recent college graduates can't find full-time work," Evan Feinberg said.

Feinberg leads up Generation Opportunity, a non-profit think tank.

"My generation is not going to see the same American dream that the older generation did," he said.

Margaret Simms of the Urban Institute says yes there is job growth, although it is still not proportional to demand, and there are other issues.

"Older people are less likely to retire, leave the labor market, meaning that unless jobs expand quickly, there won't be very many job openings for younger people to take," Simms said.

And those lucky enough to get hired still may not feel the financial rewards the way their parent's did.

"Many of these young people are carrying large student loans and those have a big affect on your ability to build net worth and to get ahead," Simms said.

Or even pay for day-to-day expenses, which is why more millennia than ever are leaning on mom and dad for help.

"If their older brother or sister is still living at home then the chances are they think they'll be doing the same," Simms said.

So what can they do about it?

"Until the economy rebounds, this generation needs to fight tooth and nail for opportunity," Feinberg said.

And the experts recommend use any free time to learn new skills, demonstrate good financial behavior and adjust your expectations, which is exactly what Marshall is doing.

"Even if they're bad jobs, get the jobs that get you the experience, so eventually I can get the jobs that get me the money," Marshall said.

There are industries begging for workers, including health care, construction and engineering, at least they are openings here in the Houston area.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13


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