SPECIAL REPORT: The Millennials and the job market - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: The Millennials and the job market

(WXTX) -

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, it's 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," Shelly said.

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," said Shelly. 

"Only 30 percent of young people view their current job as part of their career," said Evan Feinberg with Generation Opportunity. "Nearly have of recent college graduates can find full time work."

Evan 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 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," said Simms.

Those lucky enough to get hired still may not feel the financial rewards the way their parents 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," Simms said. "If you're paying off your stud loans you are not going to have enough to invest in a retirement fund, to put aside for a down payment for a home."

Or even pay for day- to- day expenses, which is why more millennials than ever are leaning on mom and dad for help. 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.

So what can they do about it?

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

The experts recommend use any free time to learn new skills, demonstrate good financial behavior and adjust your expectations, which is exactly what Shelly 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," Shelly said.

Shelly plans to also return to school to get her graduate degree.

Copyright 2013 WXTX. All rights reserved.

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