Charting Millennials

I was going through all the tweets I’ve favorited over the past several months, and I noticed a recurring theme: charts and graphs that relate to millennials. I think I favorited or retweeted them with the intention of sharing of them on here, but then I forgot about them. * cue sad violin * However, my propensity to be forgetful works out well, because now I can provide y’all with a compendium of charts. #checkitout

FIRST, the number of young-uns that identify themselves as Republicans shocked Harvard researchers earlier this spring. Apparently this is a bad thing for Democrats who are running in the 2014 midterm elections. policy-mic-political-id

And then there’s this: skeptical Millennials are skeptical of everything.


 

SECOND, the National Low Income Housing Coalition put together a chart of how many hours a person working a minimum-wage job would have to work in order to be able to afford rent in their state. What I learned from this chart: you need to work 69 more hours per week in New York than you would in Ohio in order to keep a roof over your head (the rent is too damn high!).

 


 

THIRD, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that today’s teenagers are less likely to be employed than ever. While nearly 60 percent of teens in the 1980s held summer jobs, only about 35 percent have held summer jobs in the 2010s. However, researchers don’t think the economy is the reason behind this dramatic decrease. They attribute the drop to the increasing number of students enrolling in summer courses in high school and college. This is one of many charts that are based on the results of the extensive study that I found particularly interesting: kids from more financially well-off families are more likely to have a summer job than their less well-off peers.

 


 

FOURTH, National Public Radio and the Harvard School of Public Health teamed up to conduct an elaborate study on what various age groups across America are stressed about. This chart is just a snippet of all the data they collected, but it’s interesting that our generation in particular is incredibly frazzled about our overall responsibilities.

 


 

FIFTH, the American government’s Census Bureau created a set of insanely beautiful and elaborate graphics explaining what career fields particular college majors actually end up working in. As FactTank at the Pew Research Center explained, the thicker the line, the greater the share of people in the particular job field. If you visit the actual Census Bureau website, you can filter out certain groups to see where they ended up (for example, women who majored in a STEM field versus men who did the same).

 


 

LASTLY, in a news story that surprised ABSOLUTELY NO ONE, student loans are rising. The Brookings Institution released this fancy graph, and I honestly have no idea how to interpret it, but it looks both cool and depressing, so here you go. Check out details about the graph here.

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The 40-Year-Old Millennial Sympathizer

It’s no secret that Millennials get a bad rap – especially among folks in the post-Baby Boomer generation. This is why it was especially refreshing to run across a 40-something’s “apology” in the New York Times for his generation’s tendency to rag on us.

Op-Ed columnist Frank Bruni writes,

Among Americans age 40 and older, there’s a pastime more popular than football, Candy Crush or HBO.

It’s bashing millennials.

Oh, the hours of fun we have, marveling at their self-fascination and gaping at their sense of entitlement! It’s been an especially spirited romp lately, as a new batch of them graduate from college and gambol toward our cubicles, prompting us to wonder afresh about the havoc they’ll wreak on our world.

We have a hell of a lot of nerve, considering the havoc we’ve wrought on theirs.

Bruni’s article is a poignant piece on the many different ways our generation has been shafted, and he remarks what a shame it is that no one is doing anything to fix it. Here are some of my favorite excerpts and points from his piece:

  • He notes we’re not spending enough public funds and resources on supporting America’s youth. Quoting a former Nebraska governor, who said, “If we’re trying to figure out how to advance the next generation’s future, we need to be spending more on the next generation, and we’re spending it on yesterday’s generation. I am not the future. My 12-year-old son is. But if you look at the spending, you’d think I’m the future.”
  • “Employment figures… confirm a much higher rate of joblessness among Americans ages 18 to 29 than among the whole population.”
  • The government’s regulation of carbon emissions is nowhere near strict enough. In half a century, it will lead to disastrous consequences.

We conveniently overlook how much more they’ve had to pay for college than we did, the loans they’ve racked up and the fact that nothing explains their employment difficulties better than a generally crummy economy, which certainly isn’t their fault.

Millennials are by no means untouchable angels who can do no wrong. We are far too addicted to social media, we often demand and expect far too much, and we have a tendency to be rather self-absorbed. But that’s not all we are.

We are also the most educated generation in history, we are more adept at accepting change, and we are more connected to people all over the world than ever before.

Every generation has its quirks and its flaws. Millennials aren’t some unique generation that suddenly its elders disapprove of. It’s rather unfair that the generations that came before us (X and the Baby Boomers) are so quick to judge us – especially when those generations were placed under the same scrutiny and condemnation only a few decades ago.

Having a Quarter-Life Crisis? Calm Down, You.

…and read these stats on post-grad millennials’ views on jobs and education.

We’ve all been there. You’re at some social gathering, maybe a wedding, a family get-together, or a night out with friends. You’re having a great time… UNTIL somebody says this: “Oh, you studied [insert any college major/master’s degree here]? You must have learned so much. So, what do plan on doing with that?”

Your brain freezes. GREAT. Being the paranoid parrot that you are, you assume that this person asked this question because he or she:

  • a) is genuinely interested in your future (hah! yeah, right!).
  • b) is trying to size you up like Regina George (“So, you agree? You think you’re really smart?”).
  • c) is under the impression that your major is about as useful as mastering the art of Ross Gellar’s “unagi.”
  • d) doesn’t think you’ll ever find a job, and is insinuating he/she believes you will be living in a cardboard box.
  • e) is just trying to make conversation (hah! yeah, right again!).

You try to be nonchalant. You try not to give away the fact that you’re panicked beyond belief. You try to give a safe answer. “Oh, you know, I’m open to pretty much anything,” you say. Which is true. You are willing to take something, anything just to get your foot in the door.

Ugh. “Could this BE anymore awkward?” says the Chandler Bing voice inside your head.

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Chip up, buttercup! You’re not the only person who has experienced this awkward conversation. And while the last thing you may want to hear about is how well other twenty-somethings are doing career-wise, or what they think about our current economic state, you could learn a thing or two from them. Their insights into the economy, what skills are necessary in the workplace, and regrets they have about their education may help you figure out how to make it in the real world. Remember: if those fools can do it, so can you! Continue reading