Friday, September 23, 2011

The Lost Generation - Why People in their 20's and early 30's have been humiliated by the recession

As far as it goes with economics being largely social science with math brought in to track trends or remove false assumptions, there is an interesting piece that came out on how those who are in their 20's and 30's have been facing hard times in this economy. On my day off I've been pondering some of these trends.

It is here on this link. (May also be found here.) In essence, those who are graduates are not getting jobs in their fields and are instead entering service sector jobs that don't pay as well and every year drain down their level of expertise they had when they graduated. When things do eventually improve, it says, they are going to have to compete with those who are fresh out of training / school, who may have an advantage. That is why the article calls it the lost generation. It has been my experience that many of my friends in their 20's and early 30's are in the exact bind of this article. That's the only reason I posted this, is because I believe it is a real social phenomena in the consciences and angst among young adults after college, and occassionally after high school. There is also an article out today tracking a trend in one state, that 40% of new jobs in Texas (which seeminly broke the recession job killing...) were filled by legal immigrants, 40% by illegal immigrants; leaving only 20% of the impressive jobs number going to non-immigrants. Many legal immigrants are highly skilled or receiving status through a company that needs their abilities so they are helped through the process (tedious as it unfairly is). Still, it seems odd that is going on with so many talented university grads available as well. Regardless of what one thinks about such issues, the bottom line is that social effects are being felt by the 20's to 30's demographic as they are sidelined nationally, in every state, by businesses not hiring as much in general and by lack of experience holding them out of the few positions available.

Perhaps in the first article that explains why many graduates of high school and college are just living with mom and dad still there. In the Christian culture commentary area, this Census data and economic perspective creates an additional commentary on Al Mohler's ideas about this age demographic staying in "play time" mode (put off marriage, buy toys longer, etc). Even if Mohler's thesis is true (not saying I agree really) the current problem is even if people of that age want to move on, they are structurally unable to do so. I can't stand the victim mentality, but in truth these are literally victims of economic hardship decisions in businesses. If they aren't getting jobs, or at least jobs that pay well enough to support oneself with medical insurance, mortgage costs, car costs, hospital bills, utilities, college debt, and so on, then they're just trying to survive. You can hardly be hard on someone who is just trying to make it and who is continually dogged by unattractive long-term options in this climate.

This is some social phenomena that reveals an interesting perspective of what is going on in a generation seeking its place in a different USA. One economist from Harvard in the study said that generation will be 'scarred' by all of this. Sounds like he is right on, people are already getting burned by the situation with lasting production possibility frontiers decreasing.

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