The young and the hopeless? - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

The young and the hopeless?

Economists say we're all feeling the pinch, but it's a major squeeze if you're a millennial. (Source: NPN) Economists say we're all feeling the pinch, but it's a major squeeze if you're a millennial. (Source: NPN)

(NPN) - You think you have it rough these days?

Well, try being a Millennial.

Economists say we're all feeling the pinch, but it's a major squeeze if you're a Millennial, considered by some the hardest hit group in this recession.

Shelly Marshall has every right to be hopeful. She's newly married and just graduated from college

Life is good, right?

Well, not as good as she wants.

There's no dream job yet.

"I haven't heard anything back from the ones I have applied for," Marshall said.

And, she's realistic enough to know it may not happen for a good while.

"I know a couple people who in my field have graduated and they have gotten an internship right after graduation or a volunteer position, but they have yet to get a paying job," she said.

"Only 30 percent of young people view their current job as part of their career," said Evan Feinberg, of Generation Opportunity. "Nearly have of recent college graduates can't find full time work."

Feinberg leads up generation opportunity, a non-profit think tank.

"My generation is not going to see the same American dream that the older generation did," Feinberg said.

Margaret Simms of the urban institute says yes there is job growth, although it is still not proportional to demand, and there are other issues.

"Older people are less likely to retire, leave the labor market, meaning that unless jobs expand quickly, there won't be very many job openings for younger people to take," Simms said.

And those lucky enough to get hired still may not feel the financial rewards the way their parent's did.

"Many of these young people are carrying large student loans and those have a big affect on your ability to build net worth and to get ahead. If you're paying off your student loans you're not going to have enough to invest in a retirement fund, to put aside for a down payment for a home," Simms said.

Or even pay for day-to-day expenses. Which is why more Millennial's than ever are leaning on mom and dad for help.

And they think they'll be doing it a lot longer than previous generations.

A quarter of all teens now estimate they'll be 25 to 27 years old before they are financially independent.

"If their older brother or sister is still living at home then the chances are they think they'll be doing the same," Simms said.

What can they do about it?

"Until the economy rebounds, this generation needs to fight tooth and nail for opportunity," Feinberg said.

And the experts recommend: Use any free time to learn new skills, demonstrate good financial behavior and adjust your expectations, which is exactly what Marshall is doing.

"My current plan is to, even if they're bad jobs, get the jobs that get you the experience, so eventually I can get the jobs that get me the money," Marshall said.

Marshall said she will also return to school to get her graduate degree.

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