There’s no doubting that worldwide, kids are out of work. In the United States alone, the unemployment rate for 15 to 24-year-olds is about 16 percent, nearly twice the national average. In parts of Europe, the figures are much worse, with a whopping 56 percent youth unemployment rate in Spain alone — representing about 900,000 people.
But do these high numbers represent a global labor market crisis that imperils future growth, as the headlines warn? Maybe not. Maybe instead, they’re evidence of a generation of college graduates determined not to settle, which bodes well for our future.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
In the two years before Obama became president and job losses bottomed out, young people born between the 1980s and the end of the century (a.k.a.: Millennials) were fleeing Washington, D.C. But in the next two years, the city and its surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Virginia added more Millennials than any other city in America.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
An acquaintance gave a few of us a ride after the annual post-Yom Kippur feast. Stuffed with bagels, lox, kugel, and every kind of pound cake imaginable, the four of us chatted happily about life in D.C., past trips to Israel, and guilt over skipping religious services earlier that day.
And then the conversation turned to dating.
“Would you ever marry a non-Jew?” Sharon asked from the backseat. Answers varied; one person said she wasn’t sure, while another said she might consider marrying someone who was willing to convert. Debates about intermarriage, or marriage outside of the faith, are common in the Jewish community, but her question still struck me as remarkable. Here were four twentysomething women who hardly knew each other, already talking about the eventuality of marriage and apparently radical possibility that we would ever commit our lives to someone unlike us. This conversation seemed very “un-Millennial”–as a whole, our generation is marrying later, becoming more secular, and embracing different cultures more than any of our predecessors. If the same question had been asked about any other aspect of our shared identities–being white, being educated, coming from middle or upper-middle class backgrounds—it would have seemed impolite, if not offensive.
Read more. [Image: Agence Tophos/Flickr]
And here are the graphs to prove it.
Bieber with his swag, Miley with her tongue, Skrillex’s stupid haircut … There are tons of reasons to tune out modern pop music that don’t have a thing to do with the music itself.
But if you do listen—really pay attention—you might find something in today’s pop that’s a lot more bothersome. There’s an apocalyptic, we’re-all-gonna-die-anyway theme that keeps popping up—a YOLO-style message to do whatever you want right now because tomorrow you might be in a box.
Icona Pop’s song “I Love It” is an ode to crashing cars, throwing someone else’s stuff down the stairs and essentially doing whatever the hell they want, all the while proclaiming “I don’t care, I love it.” In “Die Young,” the always-prolific Ke$ha tells someone she just met to “make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young.” There’s Fun.’s “We Are Young,” One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young,” Rick Ross and Kanye West’s “Live Fast, Die Young.”
Read more. [Image: Youtube]
Another month, another record number of young people living at home long after their teenage years are over.
This time, it’s the Wall Street Journal reporting that, despite the improved economy pulling unemployment down for the last three years, the share of young adults living with their parents is still rising. Still! More than a third of Americans between 18 and 31 are currently living with their parents, according to the Current Population Survey.
Seriously. What’s going on here, if it’s not just the economy?
We can begin to find the answers in the new mammoth Pew Research Report, released just this month, which found a record 21.6 million “Millennials” living at home. The answer boils down to three variables, which I’ll sum up as: economics, bachelor’s degrees, and bachelors.
Read more. [Image: Scarleth White/Flickr]
Brody, the hero of Ubisoft’s commendable new shooting game Far Cry 3, is unmistakably a Millennial, that subject of a thousand unsatisfying think pieces in a hundred magazines. I am a Millennial. We have: soaring self esteem that shatters on the beach break of employment; no chance in the global job market; great debt; no religion; a robust social media presence; access to a baffling array of subcultures; no idea when to get married; an unacceptably extended adolescence; the tatters of the American dream clasped like a talisman to our overprivileged breasts; a rotting Earth. Or so you’ve heard
Read more. [Image: Ubisoft]
Critics have argued Far Cry 3 is rife with sexism and Orientalism. Can video games and other forms of entertainment be characterized as “Millennial” without being progressive?
It’s happened all over the world, and it’s happening in China, too. As the country’s middle class swells in number — and its people discover the pleasures and disappointments of a life spent pursuing material comfort — there has come the emergence of a distinct counter-culture. In Chinese, they are thewenyi qingnian (文艺青年), orwenqing for short, literally meaning “cultured youth.” It’s China’s closest equivalent to the alternately beloved and reviled English word, “hipster.”
What does a typical “cultured youth” look like? Baidu Baike, China’s version of Wikipedia, contains an entry on the term that quotes writer and musician Guo Xiaohan: “I’m a very typical wenyi qingnian. I like poetry, novels, indie music, European cinema, taking pictures, writing blogs, cats, gardening, quilting, making dessert and designing environmentally friendly bags.”
Read more. [Image: Weibo, Tea Leaf Nation]
— One of your responses to this month’s business column. “The Cheapest Generation,” asked whether twentysomethings putting off cars and houses represented a Great Recession trend or a new normal for young people.
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