"The Lost Generation"

I ran into this interesting article on the Huffington Post about how the recession is affecting my generation. According to the article:

Only 46% of people aged 16-24 had jobs in September, the lowest since the government began counting in 1948. The crisis is even hitting recent college graduates. "I've applied for a whole lot of restaurant jobs, but even those, nobody calls me back," says Dan Schmitz, 25, a University of Wisconsin graduate with a bachelor's degree in English who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. "Every morning I wake up thinking today's going to be the day I get a job. I've not had a job for months, and it's getting really frustrating."

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Most analyses of youth employment focus on people aged 16 to 24, which includes everyone from high school dropouts to wet-behind-the-ears college grads. But in this era of rising educational requirements, some people don't start their careers until their mid or late 20s—and these young college grads are taking it on the chin as well.

According to a BusinessWeek analysis, college graduates aged 22 to 27 have fared worse than their older educated peers during the downturn. Two years ago, 84.4% of young grads had jobs, only somewhat lower than the 86.8% figure for college graduates aged 28 to 50. Since then, the employment gap between the two groups has almost doubled.

As a recent law school graduate, I can understand where Dan Schmitz is coming from. I'm applying for jobs that I would have thought I'd never have to apply for again because of how hard the legal community has been hit by the recession. I don't mind applying for these jobs because I need some form of income. I do have monthly bills that are dangerously close to no longer getting paid. Even applying for these "lesser" (for lack of a better word) jobs, I am still sitting here unemployed for the third month since I've seriously started looking.

I found the article to be an interesting read, but I didn't understand how lowering the minimum wage will be helpful. Personally, I'd do fine on a sub-minimum wage as far as paying the couple of bills that I have, but that means I'll have to continue living with my parents (something I REALLY don't want to do), and I'll have to continue putting off paying my student loans meaning more and more interest will accrue. That wouldn't be a problem if I was just working with the $8,000 I had after undergrad, but those law school loans. . . I don't even want to talk about it.

The article points out that there needs to be more job training opportunities while we wait for the recession to end and recovery to truly begin. I think there's some merit there, if there are job training programs then people in my generation can get the experience needed for these jobs and then when the Baby Boomers leave, the companies will have people ready and trained in their policies ready to move up. I wouldn't mind working for sub-minimum wage if I knew I was pretty much guaranteed to move up to a higher salary within a couple of years.

It doesn't really seem like anyone in the government is paying much attention to the problems my generation is having. It seems like most of the focus is on the generation coming up behind us. We've gone and gotten the education we were told would enable us to get good paying jobs, and yet we are sitting here without jobs. We are either over-qualified or under-qualified. I know some people really hate that term, but it's the truth. I remember feeling the same way when all I had was a BA when I graduated in 2005 (before the shit really hit the fan), going to law school was supposed to OPEN more doors for me, and yet I find myself in the same situation. It is and can be very de-motivating to feel like you've done everything right, and you're actually WORSE off (because I could have totally avoided a LOT of debt by going to work somewhere straight out of H.S. instead of going to college/grad school).

The man in the video called it a crisis, I'm inclined to agree. What do you think?
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