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CNNMoney: Why Young People Are Saying 'No' to the Work Force

By    |   Thursday, 24 October 2013 11:57 AM

A staggering number of young people are going against the grain and not looking for a job.

Why the lack of urgency? It's not a matter of being ill-prepared, rather the recession and a lack of hiring is taking a toll on job-seeking graduates.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), less than 78 percent of those aged 20 to 34 have jobs or are looking for work, down from the peak of 83 percent in 2000, and the lowest since the 1970s, CNNMoney reported.

Editor’s Note:
Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans

The playing field certainly has changed and workplace realities affect the state of a healthy job search. Let's take a look at the top reasons younger Americans aren't looking for work:

Staying in school. The truth of the matter is that with tuition hikes, paying for college can be a challenge. Students may need to carry a job or even two to pay the bills. With that being said, it's not always a viable option to carry a full course load so stay in school longer.

Staying at home. The financial burden of childcare costs can leave one parent to stay home and raise the family. It just doesn't make sense to pay out more money in childcare than you receive in pay.

Living Longer. People in their 20s aren't in any rush to start working because they are living longer and living better.

"They are going to live a lot longer than their parents and their grandparents, and they know it," William Galston, a Brookings Institution fellow who has studied issues of 20-somethings, told CNNMoney.

"If you think you're going to live until 90, why rush into marriage at 23?" he added, noting that marriage is a large incentive for people to work.

Giving Up. With baby boomers clenching on to their careers well past retirement age, the window of opportunity for young grads aren't opening as quickly as economists would have liked. According to BLS, the percentage of the people aged 55 or older in the work force has increased from just over 30 percent in 2000 to more than 40 percent currently.

"It's hard for most anyone to be out of work, but it's particularly harsh for young people trying to get their start; in many ways, they will likely suffer the most," said Fortune's Nin-Hai Tseng.

"Factoring in foregone experience and missed opportunities to develop skills, research shows that workers unemployed as young adults earn lower wages for many years following joblessness."

Editor’s Note: Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans

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A staggering number of young people are going against the grain and not looking for a job.
Thursday, 24 October 2013 11:57 AM
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