"Millions of workers of all ages have suffered devastating job losses in the current recession, but the economic impact on young workers has been even greater," said Elise Gould, senior economist at EPI, in a statement according to CNBC News. According to CNBC News, even before the pandemic, Gen Z identifiers had an above-average unemployment rate of 8.4% in April, May and June 2019. However, that number rose to over 24% in the spring of 2020 when the pandemic flooded the world. In comparison, the unemployment rate for people over 25 years of age rose from 2.8% to 11.3% this year.
After a Analysis by the Brookings InstitutionThe 16 to 29 year olds make up less than a quarter of the total labor force. "However, they accounted for about a third of the rise in the unemployment rate between February and April of this year." those who have just graduated from the pandemic have little or no job prospects.
"The employment outlook for job seekers has been particularly poor," said Gould. If the current pattern continues, younger workers will struggle to find work despite the recovery in the economy. Refinery 29 While many believe these young adults have time to recover, studies show that millennials, the generation before Gen Z, are still “catching up” after the last economic crash – the Great Recession.
According to the EPI, underemployment among young workers is contributing to a ripple effect with individuals staying longer at lower career levels. As a result, Gen Z workers have fewer opportunities as Millennials who struggled through the Great Recession remain in entry-level positions. This cycle lasts for generations. "The effects of a deep recession are devastating in the short and long term for young workers, but the benefits of full employment for young workers would be enormous," he said Melat Kassa, an economic researcher. "Any hope for a strong and equitable recovery must put young workers first."
In addition, many young adults are excluded from the relief efforts as they are listed as being dependent on their parents' taxes. However, the same parents likely didn't get the additional $ 500 for dependent children because the age limit was 17 years. This creates an even greater struggle for people in this age group who cannot find work or cannot support themselves.
Gen Z people are not only at higher risk of job loss, but people who identify as colored people within Gen Z are also at higher risk. Gould and other researchers found something like that disproportionate rate of COVID-19 Infections that affect the lives of blacks and browns, the unemployment rates among people of color are disproportionately high than among their white counterparts. When 35% of Gen Z are underemployed, studies show that the number of those who identify as people of color is at least 5% higher. For black and Asian men, that number rises to around 44-46%, reported Refinery 29.
It is true that unemployment rates for young adults have consistently been higher than for older or “baby boomers”. However, COVID-19 has widened this gap significantly, increasing rates by nearly 20%. As a result, many young adults take on any job they can find, whether it's temporary or not, but this is not a long-term solution. Without valuable work experience, this cycle will continue and not allow the individual to make progress. In order for the economy to flourish, strategies must be developed to address problems for Americans of all ages. Until we see systemic change at all levels, not only will younger people be exposed to the consequences of decisions made, but people of color will continue to face obstacles that are different from those of their white counterparts.