Things Are Turning Around for Younger Americans

Recent reports show that job prospects are improving for younger Americans. Are there opportunities for associations to help them get there quicker?

For years, the metaphor of the stay-at-home 20-something became shorthand for the economic problems that younger Americans faced.

But now, with an economy that is starting to turn a corner, we may be starting to see that trend reverse, The Huffington Post notes. A quick roundup:

During the recession, a lot of those major life events like marriage, children, and migration were put on hold.

Getting hired quicker, paid more: According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, things are looking better on the job front. In a May study, the organization noted that a quarter of 2012 grads had succeeded in getting a job upon graduation — an increase from the prior year. In a separate study, NACE noted that salaries for 2012 graduates were on the rise. While the jump was small, the group says there were increases across the board — a good sign.

Moving out on their own: According to Census Bureau data, Americans are moving into their own homes at the fastest rates since 2006 — with 1.15 million new households created between October 2011 and September 2012. That’s double the rate of the recession-era years. As Kenneth Johnson of the University of New Hampshire notes, this may be a sign of general economic improvement. “During the recession, a lot of those major life events like marriage, children, and migration were put on hold,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

Saving more, skipping debt: On top of this, younger Americans are making more of an effort to save — with nearly 44 percent of employees under 25 now taking part in 401(k) programs, according to data from Vanguard Group. As the Wall Street Journal notes, credit card debt is also on the decline — with 45 percent of Americans under 35 reported as having any. While this sort of spending can slow down the economy in the short term, in the long run it’s better because it encourages larger investments.

As younger workers get a fresh start, even a little late in the game, what can associations do to help ease this process — from introducing talented college students to the field, to assisting on the networking front, to offering the kind of training that might help them move to a better job?

Let us know what has worked for your association in the comments.

(TMG archive photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!