The lost generation?

BusinessWeek recently had an interesting article on the challenges facing young people in this economy. Many of them just can’t land jobs.

Bright, eager—and unwanted. While unemployment is ravaging just about every part of the global workforce, the most enduring harm is being done to young people who can’t grab onto the first rung of the career ladder.

Affected are a range of young people, from high school dropouts, to college grads, to newly minted lawyers and MBAs across the developed world from Britain to Japan. One indication: In the U.S., the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds has climbed to more than 18%, from 13% a year ago.

For people just starting their careers, the damage may be deep and long-lasting, potentially creating a kind of “lost generation.” Studies suggest that an extended period of youthful joblessness can significantly depress lifetime income as people get stuck in jobs that are beneath their capabilities, or come to be seen by employers as damaged goods.

Equally important, employers are likely to suffer from the scarring of a generation.

This danger of “scarring” seems real, but if you find yourself in this group you have to be proactive and NOT let this hurt you. That may sound easy, as options are now clearly limited. However, on the other hand, the dire condition of the economy can also be used to alter your perceptions of what you need at this time in your life. Many graduates expected to get a high-paying job immediately upon graduation, and now many of those job aren’t available. Yet is that what you really need RIGHT NOW?

In many cases the answer is no. Maybe you can now consider a cool internship that pays little but offers an incredible experience. Perhaps you can take a much-needed break and go on that backpacking trip that you dreamed of doing after college. This of course depends on your funds, though the cost of travel has plummeted.

Alternatively, you can be aggressive about doing something entrepreneurial or contracting out services online.

We know if sucks out there, but you have to make the best of the situation you’re facing. Get motivated, and good things will happen!

Tough jobs report for December

While the pace of job losses has declined dramatically, we haven’t turned the corner yet.

The job market remained in a deep funk in December, according to a government report Friday showing that employers view the economic recovery as too weak and too fragile to begin hiring again on any large scale.

The pace of layoffs has slowed sharply in recent months, but businesses still cut 85,000 net jobs in December, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 10 percent, but economists suspect this is only because hundreds of thousands of frustrated workers stopped looking for jobs.

The key is that the trend in is the right direction. The recovery is going to be a little choppy, but hopefully the trend continues in the right direction. If you’re unemployed, the key is to continue being persistent. Don’t give up!

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