Find the latest episode of "The Uncertain Hour" here. Listen

Growing up is hard if you can’t find a job

Mitchell Hartman Feb 9, 2012

David Brancaccio: Make no mistake: While there have been some heartening trends in America’s jobs picture, the economy’s still slow — slow enough that all-too-many young people can’t find jobs, or at least good enough jobs to get on with life. That’s the conclusion of a survey out this morning from the Pew Research Center. Economy-induced delays in getting on with life means fewer weddings, and fewer diapers, and fewer furniture kits from Ikea. Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman reports.


Mitchell Hartman: Call it the economy’s “failure to launch” syndrome. If you’re 18 to 34, your wages have probably fallen. And there’s lots of competition for entry-level positions from more experienced workers. So record numbers are staying in school, or taking dead end jobs that aren’t on a career path, says Pew researcher Kim Parker.

 

Kim Parker: A quarter moved back in with their parents after living on their own. There were three in 10 young people who said they had either postponed having a baby or postponed getting married.

But the young remain just as upbeat as ever. Fewer than one in 10 think they’ll struggle financially in the future. Older people are way more pessimistic, though they’ve done better in the recession. I met John Quintanilla at his church in Rialto, Calif. He’s 18 and looking for work.

John Quintanilla: I know eventually everything’s going to fall into place. Maybe getting a house when I’m really old — not super-old, kind of like, 30s, 40s.

The inveterate optimism of youth. You gotta love it. I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.