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Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Generation Squeezed - young adults are being smothered in debt and burdened by underemployment

Remember when you graduated from your “last” degree?   What level of debt did you incur?   How did this impact your life decisions subsequently?

Today’s graduates are faced with unprecedented debt loads to complete their degrees? Are being expected to assume mortgages that greatly exceed income ratios of their parents?  Are deferring partnering, reducing family size or even not opting for parenting. 

Full time jobs for entrance level graduates are becoming scarce. Many are expected to work part time, shiftwork or at considerable distance from their home base to become established in the workforce.  Yes their predecessors were faced with similar issues, but not to the extent that this year’s graduating class will  Globe and mail April 10 video on youth employment  .  Federal support for youth employment has been eroded to a minimum.  As youth who have not achieved full time employment do not contribute to unemployment statistics, they are not measured.  While reported unemployment is unacceptable, its inverse is an underestimate of the reciprocal measure of youth employment. Nor is underemployment factored into unemployment statistics. 

Statistically a wonderful way to hide the extent of the problem. Moreover limited resources are being channelled to retraining adults and even older employees who contribute to the classical unemployment measures, further undermining youth employment support programs.

A lone voice has emerged and is bringing attention to the problem. The efforts of Paul Kershaw, with the Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC deserve far more attention than they have mustered to date.

Follow Generation Squeeze at http://gensqueeze.ca/ .  Be sure to sign up and support the efforts to remobilizing our youth, before not only are the jobs outsourced, but the youth emigrate to where the outsourced jobs are ending up. 

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