A a greater proportion of people under the age of 35 are collecting unemployment insurance than before the pandemic, a change that is likely the result of demographic shifts and the trend of jobs that can be done remotely.
In 2019, almost half of the unemployed were over 45, but that number has fallen to 45.8% this year. Young people now make up more than 31% of beneficiaries, a notable increase from before the pandemic, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The shift, while subtle, reflects both changes in the labor market and shifts in demographics, according to Chris Kayes, professor of management at George Washington University.
Kayes highlighted the Washington Examiner As baby boomers begin to retire, younger generations (especially those under 35) begin to make up a larger proportion of the nation’s workforce.
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While baby boomers for years made up the largest overall share of the U.S. population, in 2020 millennials have overtaken the generation to become the largest in membership.
Millennials, and even younger Gen Z, are also more inclined towards different work sectors than older workers.
For example, the technology sector has become an increasingly popular career path for young workers. The changing work landscape could be contributing to the tendency for young people to file for unemployment, according to Kayes, who gave the example of someone in tech who could be made redundant because their job was moved to work. ‘foreign.
“There is concern that entry-level jobs, so people who are, say, 21 to 27 years old, are really a group that will be hardest hit by any kind of potential recession because those are the kind of jobs… which are easier to offshore or there are other types of technology that can replace the jobs of this group,” he said.
With the possibility of a recession and its effects on the labor market looming on the horizon, for months now the job market has been tight and employers have been scrambling to retain their employees. This has given workers more power to decide where they want to work and more leverage to demand concessions.
Overall, young workers can choose to be more demanding than before the pandemic. Another factor could therefore be that more young workers have chosen to collect unemployment benefits because they are convinced that they can find a job, but wait until they find the one that suits them best. .
The pandemic has resulted in the widespread acceptance of remote work. Many young workers, freed from the idea of working for a singular company for years, left their posts during the pandemic for remote positions or, as their companies began to return to office work, decided to find a new job.
Workplace flexibility is a major factor for young employees. A LinkedIn survey from earlier this year found that a whopping 72% of Gen Z employees said they left or considered leaving their jobs due to inflexible work policies. A large majority of millennials said the same.
“This group was much more willing to quit their jobs. They had less at stake because they hadn’t invested the years and years that some of the older generations maybe had with a particular employer or a particular job,” Kayes said.
In 2021, almost three-fifths of young adults up to age 24 lived in the parental home, a number that has exploded during the pandemic, given the availability of remote work. The ability to live somewhere rent-free might also have contributed to young workers feeling more inclined to collect unemployment benefits during their job search rather than simply accepting the first job offer they receive. .
Although there has been a change in the proportion of young job seekers, the future is less certain as fears of a recession permeate.
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Many economists call two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product growth a recession, and that’s exactly what the United States has experienced this year. Nevertheless, negative GDP growth is usually accompanied by higher unemployment, and that has yet to happen.
The economy added 528,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 3.5%, matching the ultra-low level it was at before the pandemic.