As Millennials (those born between 1981 and 2000) enter the workforce in increasing numbers, it has become clear that the lack of employment opportunities in the job market is impacting this generation more than older generations, which could hold them back for their entire career.
Because an employee’s raises over the course of his or her career are generally percentage based increases, a lower starting salary will impact the employee for years, as those who start with a higher salary receive increasingly larger raises in dollars because their higher salary and previous higher raises compound the problem over time.
Of course, many Millennials are unable to find a job in their field, or a job of any kind because a combination of the weak labor market and those over 55 continuing to work in record numbers, which forces many new potential employees to find lower paying service jobs or other employment outside of their desired field to meet their financial obligations. Millennials are also being laid off at a higher rate than older generations, with 14% of them being laid off in 2009 compared to 8% of Baby Boomers, according to a survey by The Futures Company.
This demographic trend will be interesting to watch as Baby Boomers exit the workforce over the next decade, because current long term demographic trends should cause employee shortages in many fields, but will those positions be filled by Millennials who finally get the opportunity they have been waiting for, or by younger employees who would be just entering the job market in the future, leaving Millennials currently in the labor pool permanently under-employed and underpaid?