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Monday, October 27, 2014

Are Millennials Becoming Known as “Generation Unemployed”?



A growing crisis is unfolding among Millennials worldwide that could someday have an impact on international business. That is at least according to The Ground Truth Project that includes 21 fellows reporting from 11 countries. Global youth unemployment and few opportunities for training new skills are rising across the world.  Where these Millennials seem to be lacking in opportunity they are also trying to create their own avenues through entrepreneurship. 

They have been nicknamed “Generation Jobless” because they are unemployed and not enrolled in some type of formal schooling. They could someday be the chronically unemployed class of people who are not, or cannot seek, to improve their positions in life through formal channels. This makes them more likely to use alternative paths to achievement. 

Nearly a quarter of the world’s 15-24 year-olds are seriously struggling to meet the day-to-day needs of buying food, affording a place to stay or attending trade/formal post-secondary schooling. This is a generation where a large percentage lives in near despair every day making them a major challenge for business and government.

At present, Millennials should be entering into part-time introductory jobs to learn the necessary skills to earn higher wages later on in their careers. Without out these introductory jobs they will be lacking both education and on-the-job skill training to meaningfully fulfill highly skilled job openings.  

Since this is a phenomenon occurring in multiple countries it has implications for future business recruitment and consumption on a global scale. A generation of young people struggling to find their footing will naturally come along with a desire to change their circumstances. This is also a large generation much like the Baby Boomers that has shown a willingness to protest and support causes. 

Without opportunity many have moved toward starting their own micro and small business enterprises in an attempt to develop their own income streams. Their learning style appears to be more focused on a natural style of development outside of formal education. We can see the same mechanics at work with the initial interest in free MOOCs. 

With a decade of recession and rapid environmental change Millennials live in a different world than their parents and grandparents did. There is no such thing as a life-long job, substantive wage increases, or even a reasonable assumption Social Security will still be around when they retire. They are on their own, globalized, and transient making them one of the first generations forced to someday rewrite all the rules.  



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