It’s no secret, the job market has changed drastically over the past few years. Whereas before, workers would stay with the same company for years building their career and honing in on a specific skill, now they are hopping from job to job collecting several different skills. That’s definitely not the only change the market has seen. Obviously the increased unemployment rate and lagging economy has left waves of aftershock in its wake and young adults are feel the reverberations more than anyone.
According to the Economic Security Index, November showed that young adults have suffered the worst economic losses since the start of the recession. Specifically, more than fifth of Americans aged 18 to 34 years have experienced a very large drop in their income over the past four years. On top of that, since they have extreme difficulty in finding a position that offers acceptable pay, or in finding a position at all, they have turned to work that is more accessible to them: the service industry. In a Millenial branding study, the results showed that more and more young adults (18-29) are turning to serving and bartending positions since office jobs and internships are not as available.
It’s much easier for people in this age group to find jobs in the industry than in the corporate world. Vast work experience isn’t necessary in the industry and those that work here are met with easy, fast cash. Often times, serving and bartending positions can even yield a higher income than the entry-level jobs they would be filling anyways. However, there is a downside to this. Since these young adults are choosing to take industry jobs rather than the entry-level jobs they can’t find, when they do enter back into the corporate workforce once it fully picks up they will have to compete with new graduates for the entry-level positions they need. Since they will have little to no previous work experience, they will have to start at the bottom and in a year or so the number of candidates vying for these positions will greatly increase. Andrew Sum, an economist and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, was quoted in the Huffington Post saying, “We have a monster jobs problem, and young people are the biggest losers. Their really high levels of underemployment and unemployment will haunt young people for at least another decade.”
Doubtless that doesn’t sit very well with the young adults of America, but instead of taking a beating lying down, many young adults are using the job market fall to their advantage. The study that found more and more young adults are working in the industry, but on the flip side the fifth most common job title for this age group is “owner.” Frustrated with the job market and lack of jobs available to them, many young adults have taken hold of the market and started their own companies or startups. Furthermore, more young adults are working multiple jobs, taking more hours or picking up freelance work to increase their income. Their actions go to show that even though there are forces working against you from all angles, there are still ways to turn the bad into good and make something out of it for yourself. Whether it’s positions in the industry or creating their own business, savvy young adults in the job market will find a way to succeed.