PhotoIn the wake of the Great Recession, Millennial women seem to be having a particularly tough time finding jobs. Although it’s been a decade since the start of the Recession, many young women are still feeling its effects.

According to a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), many young women (especially those ages 25 to 34), are experiencing unemployment at higher rates than in 2007.

"While the overall unemployment rate for American workers is now lower than it was just prior to the Great Recession, Millennial women, especially Millennial women of color, have still not fully recovered from the recession," said IWPR Senior Research Scientist Dr. Chandra Childers.

Skill development paused

The analysis found that young Black women’s unemployment rates were higher in 2016 than young White women’s unemployment rates were at their peak in 2010 (8.8 percent compared to 7.7 percent).

"These are women who were just entering the workforce or early in their careers when the recession hit, and the ensuing high unemployment paused the development of their skills and work experience,” Childers said.

A separate report, titled “The lost generation: recession graduates and labor market slack,” says Millennials in general are struggling to get jobs.

Effects longer lasting than average

"Data on youth unemployment rates show a sharp rise during and after the 2008-09 recession – both on an absolute and relative basis," wrote Spencer Hill, economist at Goldman Sachs.

Currently, Millennial unemployment rates stand at more than double the national average (12.7 percent compared to 5 percent as of September 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

"While youth underperformance is typical of recessions, the effects of the most recent downturn appeared larger and more long-lasting than average," Hill added.

Reasons for the trend

In addition to stalled development of job-related skills, the trend may be driven by the generation’s high expectations for the type of job they hope to land. Millennials tend to look for “dream jobs” that afford them work-life balance, with flexibility, breaks and time to focus on personal development. 

Statistics support the idea that Millennials are an overconfident bunch. But for those lacking experience, this quality may shrink the pool of potential jobs. It could also make the idea of continuing to live with mom and dad sound like a more appealing option than trudging onward with the job search.

The high price of a college education might also be making it more difficult for Millennials to enter the job market. On the heels of the 2008 economic crash, Millennials may find it more difficult than ever to scrape together the funds to obtain a college degree and find an entry point into the job market.


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