5/22/2013 5:15 PM ET|
Millennials wait as boomers hang on
Slow-to-retire older workers are often blamed for stifling opportunities for younger generations. The theory doesn't hold up, but tensions remain.
Younger workers can't seem to get a break. Just as members of the Millennial Generation were trying to launch their careers, the economy fell into the worst recession in decades. Even now, with the economy gradually recovering, the obstacles don't seem to let up.
You'd think the picture for younger workers would be improving, with unemployment down to 7.4% for ages 25-34 from a peak of well over 10% in 2010. But try telling that to someone like Chad Heard, who's struggling to get launched.
Heard, 25, blames baby boomers at least partly for his slow career start. He graduated in 2010 from Augusta State University in Georgia with a degree in business administration, finishing with a 3.8 GPA, including dean's list honors and a prestigious college marketing award.
Filled with ambition, he went on 24 interviews in rapid succession, all for entry-level positions. Not one produced an offer.
"Employers kept saying 'You need more experience.' But the jobs I was applying to were entry-level positions," he says. "I have tons and tons of drive. I was like, 'Give me a shot!'"
Heard lives with his parents in Augusta, giving him the financial security to try a new strategy: working for free.
He took four unpaid internships, at an advertising firm, a historical-preservation group, an economic growth organization and a municipal redevelopment authority.
His fifth internship, at a property management and redevelopment company, came with a salary and ultimately turned into a permanent position. But he's still wondering how he'll move off the bottom rung of the career ladder. Happy as he is to have work, his job -- project management coordinator -- uses his marketing and advertising background only sparingly.
The problem, Heard believes, is that entry-level jobs, which traditionally go to recent college graduates, are now being offered to workers with several years of experience in today's highly competitive environment.
"In my opinion, this phenomenon (is) mainly predicated upon two things: the economy . . . and the fact that upper management is now retiring later in life. It's a ripple effect that is felt all the way down to recent graduates."
Certainly, boomers, who make up a quarter of the nation's population, are retiring later. They're delaying retirement to rebuild depleted savings, make up for lost pensions and repay home-equity debt taken on during the free-spending housing boom. They are also staying healthy later in life than earlier generations, and some prefer to keep working.
Survey results help tell the story:
- Most workers polled by CareerBuilder this year said they plan to keep working after retiring from their current employer.
- Financial planners surveyed in 2011 by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants said half of their baby boomer clients were postponing retirement.
- The average boomer now expects to retire at age 68½, according to Met Life's 2011 Transitioning into Retirement Survey.
But while the trend is clear, the impact on younger workers is not. A spate of media stories has popularized the idea that boomers stand between younger workers and their goals. But research doesn't bear that out.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
FYI: Baby Boomers spat on soldiers returning from 'Nam. Us Gen Xers and younger gens don't do this. Happy belated Memorial's Day.
If this guy truly blames Baby Boomers for the lack of available jobs, then that would most likely include his grandparents, who, if they had not had his parents, he woulldn't even he here in the first place so stop all the bitching and moaning! Hilo Bob
And when things get tough it's somebody else who must be to blame for it.fault.
They will eventually grow up........it might help if they would move out of mom's house.
I technically qualify as a Gen-X, or Gen-Y, but have the work ethic of a Baby Boomer. (I'm 31) Got a paper route when I was 10, paid for my own college, and paid it off in 2 years by working 3 jobs. Own my own home and cars that are all paid off. I never made more than $15.00 an hour, but learned young how to get what I want for cheap, or free. Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without!
Now I work for a large corporation that doesn't pay an honest living wage. ($12.89 an hour after 3 years) I'm not complaining, I'll take whatever I can in this economy. Do my own home repairs and housecleaning on the side. Whatever it takes to pay the bills. By the way, I'm a girl.
The only thing I'm angry about is that I have to pay into Social Security that I'll never be able to collect. When I retire, it won't be there anymore. Baby Boomers say they are "entitled" to it. Since I paid into it, I should be "entitled" to it too.
Remember, united we stand, divided we fall! Hey, president and government:
Government bring our jobs home! Quit outsourcing our jobs! Is it cheaper for Government to have people on WELFARE? Is it cheaper for Government to have people on UNEMPLOYMENT?
Is it cheaper for Government to force people on early SOCIAL SECURITY, which they can't live on! Government, for years, is eliminating the MIDDLE CLASS! Millions of working Americans are without basic medical, dental, vision care, including BOOMERS! Millions of families walked away from their homes, were foreclosed on, including BOOMERS! Ask government how much of the United States of America they have sold off to other countries! Ask how many trillions they pay a sheik with hush money. Ask government if they still got their pay raise over the years, while others had pay freezes or lost their job? Answer, YES they did. Government runs us, they do not work for "We the people". So, divided we fall and confusion and war is their profit.
Ignore the Baby Boomers( this is how you hurt these self-absorbed people) . They'll be extinct in 20-30 years. Time goes by quick.
A Gen Xer.
alot of the younger generation has no idea what hard work is,I've worked on a farm and a garbage truck since I was old enough to drag a bail of hay or bag of garbage so my father would throw it on the truck, 5 or 6 yrs old. Had to get a job and leave home at 18 couldn't afford to take care of a big family. We learned hard and fast. I personal never looked back and did pretty good for myself. There's lots of jobs out there but the younger don't want to work or don't like what they get paid. They must not be hungry enough, It's not our fault, we also have to work past our retirement ages, we want to retire but can't afford it.
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