It’s been a wild ride for the Millennial generation. Many of us financed a college degree only to find that there weren’t many job prospects after graduation. Under pressure to pay the bills, millions of us have been employed in positions that don’t require bachelor’s degrees. In the post-recession economy, a shocking amount of baristas and sandwich artists are college educated. While the job market is getting somewhat better, demographic changes are what will ultimately make things better for our generation. Baby Boomers are beginning to retire, and that’s opening up space for job-hungry Millennials.
Needless to say, Baby Boomers leaving the workforce is great news for Millennials. In coming years, two out three jobs that open up for college graduates will be because of previous generations’ retirements. Even factoring in future economic problems, and automation that threaten job growth, analysts are saying the aging of Baby Boomers will greatly improve employment prospects for us. In a world where there’s never enough job growth, mass retirement is exactly what the doctor ordered.
This transition toward a Millennial-centric workforce and economy won’t occur overnight. It will instead happen gradually over the next decade and a half as Boomers put themselves out to pasture and stop working. Our parents’ demographic would have retired faster if the Great Recession hadn’t wiped out so much of their net worth. While the Boomers are working longer than had been expected, at a certain point, they’re going to be too old for the rat race.
Baby Boomers have already begun to leave the workforce in droves. They’ve been retiring at a rate of 10,000 people a day for quite some time. The youngest Baby Boomers (1946-1964) turn 52 this year, which means they have a decade and a half at most of productive years left on the job. 2015 was the year that Millennials became the largest demographic in the American workplace and our dominance will only accelerate. By 2030, Millennials will make up 70 percent of the American workforce.
Some breathing room for Millennials couldn’t come fast enough. Our generation, despite being the best-educated demographic in history is in financial despair. We’ve put off getting married and buying homes and cars much longer than previous generations because we’re broke. There’s little doubt a salary bump for Millennials would reignite economic growth and release the pent-up demand to make those big purchases.
So Millennials far and wide, don’t fret, things are going to get a whole lot better in the world of jobs. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, because mom and dad’s retirement is going to clear the way for a rapid improvement in your career prospects. While that may be a decade away, at least we know that the future is brighter for Millennial employment prospects.
Photo by snre
David is the Editor of Bold. He's especially passionate about millennial economic empowerment. A former local news reporter, David is originally from the Little Havana area in Miami, and later became a pioneer resident of the Disney-inspired town of Celebration, Florida. David holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.