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Unlike the Boomers, millennials did not find a good job until the 30s. That’s what it means for colleges and employers.

 Unlike the Boomers, millennials did not find a good job until the 30s.  That’s what it means for colleges and employers.

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Young people are facing longer and more difficult paths to quality work as higher education has become more valuable in the labor market – and these pathways are not the same for people of different races and genders.

This is the main result of two new reports released Thursday by Georgetown University’s Center for Education and Workforce. Most of the oldest Millennials didn’t get a good job until the early 1930s, reports found. On the contrary, older members of the baby boomer generation mostly found good jobs by the mid-20s.

According to reports, as we age, the proportion of millennial people with good work began to outpace the proportion of boomers when they were the same age. But a longer transition period could still mean consequences for the younger generation, such as not being able to repay student loans, buy a house or chase new dreams.

“While young people, especially if they are on the path to a bachelor’s degree, can catch up with what the previous generation had, this delay has real implications for what they can do with their lives,” said Catherine Peltier Campbell, a researcher. Director of Editorial Policy Georgetown CEW and one of the authors of the reports.

The reports identified three main barriers for young people seeking quality work: rising costs for higher education, limited access to high-quality job training, and inadequate counseling and career services. They said these barriers are exacerbated by discrimination.

“Today, young people have more equal access to opportunities than previous generations, but their chances of success in the US economy are far from fair,” said one report, which focused on how racial and gender biases block access to good work.

Georgetown CEW has long studied how higher education affects students ’career outcomes. He has published reports over the past eight months comparing salaries for college students vs. high school graduates, highlighting colleges which offer low-income students a high return on investment and show how significantly additional levels of education increase lifetime earnings.

In short, the center found that more education in general means higher salaries. But the student’s occupation, field of study, choice of college and program matter.

Thursday’s reports stand out because they show that layers of interrelated factors, such as family background and degree choices, affect life outcomes. These elements are working together to limit opportunities among the current generation of young workers in ways that are different from the experiences of previous generations, Campbell said.

“There’s a feedback cycle,” Campbell said. “It’s a cascading effect of the system on what opportunities the system has for young people depending on their race, class and gender.”

Reports express concern about the current dynamics.

“The gap in education, which affects the likelihood of getting a good job, calcifies the socio-economic disparities between those who have and those who do not, limiting the upward movement and fueling resentment towards the class,” the report said.

Today’s workers need more time to find a good job

Reports define good work as allowing someone to be economically self-sufficient. At the national level, this means paying at least $ 35,000 for workers under the age of 45 and at least $ 45,000 for those older.

This may vary by geography due to different cost of living. The average good job in the country pays $ 57,000 for workers between the ages of 25 and 35.

Today’s good jobs require employees with more education and work experience than in the past, the reports said. This means that young people need stronger resumes to start their careers, and they need more time to find a good job.

The reports compare two cohorts by birth: baby boomers born between 1946 and 1950, and millennials born between 1981 and 1985. Nearly 50% of the Boomer workforce had a good job when they were 25 years old. Less than 45% of millennials can say the same.

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