Young workers ready; opportunities limited

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 12, 2010

“The youth these days just aren’t willing to work like had to in our day.”

When mature adults get together and start talking about the younger generation, that’s a common saying overheard.

That same thing was probably said about the youth of the 1970s, 1950s and 1930s, too. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that level of “they don’t know how good they’ve got it” may be a universal cliché that crosses generations in America.

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But today’s youth are finding working more difficult and in many cases it’s not for a lack of gumption or desire.

Economic uncertainties have caused many adults who would have already retired by now to hold onto their jobs just a little longer. Who can blame them when they saw their nest egg shrivel up when the economy went south?

If that’s not enough, worries over health care in the future has caused many older Americans to stay employed longer or, in some cases, re-enter the work force.

That trend also is causing more adults to fill entry-level jobs that historically have been available to our nation’s youth.

The result is that a growing number of our youth, who want to work and learn the responsibilities of being a part of our nation’s work force, are finding their opportunities limited.

As our nation’s economy improves, this will change, but until it does the new generation of workers will continue to face steep odds in finding employment and will start off their careers at a disadvantage.