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Young Workers: Experience and Perspective

In December 2016, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published an article on young workers’ experience and perspectives on the modern labor market. This article was primarily based on the 2015 Survey of young workers conducted by the Federal Reserve. It draws a general portrait of young American workers and explores several main aspects of their status. The gathered numerical data portrays young adults’ expectations for the future, their attitude to education, and the connection between it and the actual labor market. Finally, the article addresses unemployment among young workers and provides a clear picture of the current state of events.

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Essay Summary

In the beginning, the article handles the question of young workers’ outlook and expectations about future job opportunities. Firstly, it underlines a hopeful mood among them, as 61% of all respondents viewed their future job opportunities with optimism (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 4). It is important that respondents enrolled in school, bachelor, professional, and doctorate degrees were even more optimistic towards their job perspectives. The number of optimistic answers among them reached 75% (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 15). The optimistic respondents also viewed their educational attainment as one of the advantages, which will help them to find a good job opportunity. 81% of them expressed confidence that their future education and training level will allow them to get a job they would want (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 16). On the contrary, 67% of pessimistic respondents showed concerns about their insufficient level of education (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 17). Therefore, the survey results showed the high value and importance of education from the young workers’ perspective.

It was curious to find out that most young workers are unwilling to take risks and prefer steady pay jobs to jobs with higher pay but volatile work schedules or payout times. Their overall share decreased from 67% in 2013 to 62% in 2015, but it still can be considered a high number (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 18). An interesting and pleasant fact that the number of optimistic young adults was about equal among the White, Black, and Hispanic respondents (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 19). Overall, the survey confirmed the optimistic and hopeful outlook on their career perspectives and underlined the importance of education.

However, not everything is so bright, as the article raised a concerning issue of increasing unemployment among young adults. According to labor force statistics, the unemployment rate in the 18 to 19 years age group reached 15,2%, and the 20-24 years age group experienced a 9,4% unemployment rate (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 9). Many young adults work part-time to pay for their education since not everyone can rely on full cost coverage from the parents or other relatives. As a result, it is common when a young adult works at least a part-time paid job and seeks to attain some postsecondary education degree. According to survey results, those who lack postsecondary credentials are much less confident in their level of education. In total numbers, that makes 29% of respondents with less than high school, 30% with high school, and 35% with some college experience respectively (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 24). Therefore, obtaining some sort of postsecondary degree appears necessary to improve young adults’ position in the labor market.

My Personal Experience

I can relate to the points outlined in the Federal Reserve System’s article since I belong to the young workers’ category and currently obtain my postsecondary education at the college level. I am a handyman by profession and can perform various construction-related or maintenance jobs, such as painting and plumbing. I also have some expertise as an electrician, so it can be said that I possess a skill set that will always be in demand. However, I feel that postsecondary education will improve my position in the labor market and help me to find some lucrative job opportunities in the future. The job of a handyman allows me to make some money and maintain self-sufficiency while leaving just enough time for attaining an education. Knowing that you have a steady source of income gives a pleasant sense of personal freedom and security.

Being skilled in manual labor also makes me an all-around developed worker. In my opinion, I am taking the best from two worlds — I am constantly learning new things in college and stay employed, so my time is always occupied with something useful. Even if I quit my handyman job and focus on something else, the skills I learned will come in handy at home. So, I’m quite optimistic about my future, as many of the respondents who took part in the Federal Reserve System’s survey.

In conclusion, I would like to agree with the main points stated in the article. Education is essential for the modern labor market since it allows to supplement employees’ skills and improve the chances of getting a better job in the future. The truth is, one has to be competitive and to be so, it is necessary to move forward constantly. A modern young worker has to look out for opportunities to gain new skills or improve existing ones.

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Reference

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Experiences and Perspectives of Young Workers. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 2016, pp. 1 –112.

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