Millennials Solving their Own Unemployment Problems

Recent employment numbers released by the US Labor Department provided good news for many in the American workforce, but not for Millennials. While the overall unemployment rate held steady at 6.7%, Millennials rate remained high: the rate for 20 to 24 year-olds was 12.2% and 14.5% for 16 to 24 year-olds.
This generation, bearing so many unflattering nicknames – the “boomerang generation” or the “selfie generation” – are blamed for their own inability to enter the workforce. But is it fair to blame them when they are facing economic challenges unknown by generations before them?
First, Millennials are not unemployed or underemployed by choice. Those most stricken by the effects of the recession are, according to Tim Donovan of Salon, “young, undereducated, poor and all too often, minorities.”
Second, for those who are employed, these Millennials carry unprecedented levels of student debt incurred to get the education. The entered the workforce during the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Third, this generation, more than any other before, will have to create its own employment. There are no government programs in the pipeline out to save them. As Walter Russell Mead of American Interest states, “The turmoil of the new information and service economy means that Millennials will have to be their own job creators if they want to work.”
Fortunately, Millennials seem to up to the challenge. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, Millennials launched 160,000 startups each month in 2011 and 29% of all entrepreneurs were 20-34 years old. These start-ups not only provide solutions to Millennials’ unemployment problem, but also help support the economic recovery.