The formidable challenges facing Millennials today
This is a series of blogs on behalf of the Millennial workforce. I am indebted to hundreds of Millennials who have conversed with me and clarified their thoughts as well as mine. The sequence includes:
- Who are the Millennials?
- My theory about the Millennial mindset.
- Why some Millennials seem lazy and entitled.
These blogs lead me to this next topic in the sequence, which is to identify what we know about the situation for Millennials who are entering the workforce. Certainly, every point mentioned here is not true for every early-career Millennial.
What I’m trying to bring to the surface is information that, in general, pertains to this demographic of workers age 18 through 32. Some of the information here was covered in an earlier blog, however, the context is different and I believe the information is significant and worth repeating.
Point No. 1: Millennial Living Arrangements
A Pew Research Center study on Social & Demographic Trends, claims that the most common living arrangement today for young adults is living with a parent, for the first time in 130 years. The reason cited for this change is that “entry into careers and first jobs has been set back by the Great Recession.”
Point No. 2: Millennial Job and Career Arrangements
The Daily Caller writes that “Just 14% of college seniors have steady jobs lined up after graduation.”
Consequently, “Eighty-six percent of college grads —5 of 6 —have zilch in the way of career prospects.”
The Washington Post writes that “Only 27 percent of college grads have a job related to their major.”
Point No. 3: Millennial Unemployment Numbers
This Newsweek article shows that Millennials make up 40% of all unemployed persons in the U.S.
Point No. 4: Average Income Numbers:
According to Amelia Josephson, writing for SmartAsset,
- College graduates earn an average of $17 per hour. — 20% less than their parents did at the same stage of life.
- The average salary of a millennial is $684 per week or $35,592 per year.
Here in Connecticut, according to the Business Insider, the median income for Millennials is $23,300 per year or $11.20 per hour.
Point No. 5: The Millennial state of mind
- Again, citing the Washington Post, Health & Science section, many Millennials are depressed.
- Millennials are the most stressed generation according to a study by the American Psychological Association and Harris Interactive.
Point No. 6: Millennial Workforce engagement
Ramifications of a poorly paid Millennial workforce
These generalizations do not apply to every Millennial in the workforce. However, as an overview, I think it is prudent to be aware of these statistics and the potential ramifications. Here are a few for consideration.
- 100 million people will need jobs that support independent living. At the current rate of income, raising a family will be difficult, even if both families are earning the whopping top dollar of $35,600 per year. Hence, the delay in childbearing. We have seen the results when the population doesn’t replenish itself in countries like Japan and China.
- Unless there are jobs where Millennials can move up in both pay and contribution, it is likely that:
- We will not have the tax base needed to run the United States.
- The nature of the positions will not capitalize on their creativity and we will miss the unique solutions that they will offer.
Personally, I believe this is one of the most critical issues facing our nation. We need new solutions. This generation will have them.
Millennials: the greatest competitive advantage in the United States
As long as businesses focus on productivity and profit margins, we will not break out of our current situation.
The greatest competitive advantage available to the United States is our human capital. The demographic with the highest potential are Millennials and it’s going to stay that way.
How to help Millennials
It is my opinion that we MUST:
- Welcome this generation of workers into the workforce.
- Learn to listen differently until we understand their point of view.
- Intentionally discover and value their unique abilities and identify career paths that will utilize their ideas and skills.
- Go out of our way to build long-term relationships and stay connected.
- Mentor and champion them for success.
If we can begin this process and stay focused on the agenda to create a successful early career generation, this nation will again begin to flourish.
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