Generation Y is the most optimistic and positive generation, but the global recession means young people face a serious challenge which could define their generation – youth unemployment.  Boom times meant full employment and good wages but the latest job figures are especially sobering for young Australians.  Currently the youth unemployment rate is two and a half times the national average. And it’s first time job seekers (school leavers and uni graduates) that are most affected. And there’s concern that they will form a generation of unemployable youth even when times pick up.

12 months ago we all believed that this generation of young Australians were in a position to take it or leave it when it came to jobs. The onus was on employers to make teh psychological connection. Young graduates declined jobs because they didn’t liek the vibe, FaceBook was prohibited or there was no decent coffee shop nearby.  

Those days are gone. The Minister for Employment and Participation Mark Arbib last week stunned people by telling Australians teenagers not be so picky about jobs they didn’t think paid enough or weren’t cool enough.  

No matter how we look at the economy right now unemployment is going to get worse. Not as bad as economists predicted six months ago – more like 7.5% by late 2010. However that translates into another 300,000 poeple being unemployed – on top of the current 600,000. So a total on 1 million.   

To quote the Rolling Stones – for Gen Y it might be a case of – you can’t always get what you want but if you try you might just get what you need.

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