It’s time to let go of these myths. The underemployment crisis will have long-term effects on the young people it’s disproportionately affecting even after they find a job. Those who should be building up their résumé with valuable, relevant work experience are instead starting off their career in low-quality jobs that won’t advance them to higher-paying opportunities. According to the EPI, research shows that millennials during the Great Recession did not fully “catch up” after the recession ended and the economy recovered. The report notes that “exposure to the recession led to continued earnings losses as late as 2017,” and found that millennials lost an average of 13% in earnings between 2007-2017, compared to a 7.1% loss during that period for Baby Boomers. Underemployment for young workers facing a recession also contributes to a ripple effect; millennials who struggled through the Great Recession are staying longer in the lower rungs of their careers, which can mean fewer entry-level opportunities are available to Gen Z workers now.
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