Young adults getting hit hard by the recession
Courtny Gerrish, Stephanie Graham
Shelly Marshall has every right to be hopeful. She's newly married and just graduated from college. Life is good, right? Well, not as good as she wants. There's no dream job yet.
"I haven't heard anything back from the ones I have applied for," she laments.
She's realistic enough to know it may not happen for a good while. "I know a couple people who in my field have graduated and they have gotten an internship right after graduation or a volunteer position, but they have yet to get a paying job."
Evan Feinberg is with the non-profit thinktank Generation Opportunity. He says, "Only 30% of young people view their current job as part of their career. Nearly half of recent college graduates can't find full time work." He adds, "My generation is not going to see the same american dream that the older generation did."
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 explains.
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. If you're paying off your student loans you're not going to have enough to invest in a retirement fund, to put aside for a down payment for a home," she says.
Or even pay for day-to-day expenses--which is why more millennials than ever are leaning on mom and dad for help. A quarter of all teens now estimate they'll be 25 to 27 years old before they are financially independent.
"If their older brother or sister is still living at home then the chances are they think they'll be doing the same," Simms warns.
The experts recommend use any available free time to learn new skills, demonstrate good financial behavior and adjust your expectations--which is exactly what Shelly is doing. She says, "My current plan is to, 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."
Shelly says she will also return to school to get her graduate degree.