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Report on Millennials: Young, Underemployed & Optimistic

Report on Millennials: Young, Underemployed & Optimistic

The Pew Research Center recently released a report including findings from a survey of over 800 young adults, ages 18-34. The survey was conducted in late December 2011 and revealed facts about Generation Y and the workplace. Here are some interesting things I took away from the study’s findings:

The hard economic times have impacted Millennials long-term plans. The report said that 59% of 18-34 year olds took a job they didn’t want just to pay the bills. That includes part-time jobs, but college graduates have also been forced to accept full-time positions unrelated to their college studies due to the recession. Only 30% of 18-34 year olds consider their current job a career. I have read many conflicting articles on this topic. Some experts say that Millennials will settle where others say that Millennials will strive for more– I think that depends on the Gen Y-er.  Either way, it does make sense to me that economic times have impacted Millennials long-term plans.

Education and training have also changed in the recession. 35% of respondents said that they went back to school because the economy was so bad. Among employed 18-34 year olds, less than half (46%) say they have the education and training necessary to get ahead in their job or career, whereas only 27% of the unemployed say they are adequately prepared for the kind of job they want. The study shows that college does make a difference. 69% of young college graduates who are working say that they have the education and training they need to get ahead. Can’t afford a four-year degree or don’t have the time? Check out my recent blog post on 2-year degree programs.

Young adults are more optimistic about the future than their older counterparts. The report revealed that 88% of people ages 18-34 say they either earn enough money now or expect they will in the future, whereas 28% of adults ages 35 and over said they don’t anticipate making enough money in the future.

Do you work with Millennials? What do you think about the study’s findings?


Article by Dana Schwartz

Dana Schwartz is a senior studying public relations and management at Syracuse University. She has previous internship experience with a small New York City public relations firm, as a communications intern for the Special Olympics in London, and in healthcare marketing. She is looking forward to starting a career in public relations upon her graduation in May.

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