Issues Young People Are Facing in Employment
Each generation has experienced massive changes in the workplace that have altered the way that work is done and thought of around the world. From typewriters to computers to cell phones and now even robots – we’ve come a long way.
Unfortunately, for this generation of young people, at work there is a multitude of new challenges that face them.
And they’re stressed about it.
A recent survey found that millennials are most stressed out about inequality, discrimination and a lack of good jobs. In fact, 60 per cent of millennials felt that a lack of economic opportunity and employment was the most serious issue they face. Over half are also seriously concerned about work-life balance.
Here are some of the major issues they are facing.
Starting a family should be an exciting time in your life, but for women, it can mean putting their career on hold. There are obvious examples of pregnancy discrimination like women missing out on promotions, pay raises or even getting fired when they let their work know they’re pregnant. There are even times when employers will make the workplace so hostile for pregnant women that they are forced to quit. Often when they return to work they realize their duties have completely changed and that they basically have to start climbing the ladder all over again. While pregnant women also face the added stress of having to deal with mood swings, morning sickness and schedule doctor’s appointments all while staying on top of your work.
This is when workers who fill permanent job needs are denied full workplace rights. It’s usually unstable, low-paying and tends to have dangerous working conditions. This can be categorized as an aspect of underemployment that includes contract positions or the gig economy. They usually have unstable schedules and offer no protection from health and safety violations, termination or harassment. It also delays many young workers from purchasing a home or starting a family.
When you graduate, you may think that your education and experience will make you a star candidate for entry-level jobs. But more and more young people are finding out this is isn’t the case. Employers are favouring applicants with a way higher education level than has been typically required. Canada has a highly-educated population with fewer job opportunities meaning employers can inflate qualifications. Around 40 per cent of university-educated workers are employed in jobs that don’t require that level of education.
With the rise of technology and globalization, job competition is at an all-time high for good quality employment. Now anyone in the world can apply for the job you want and technology has eliminated many positions. Another major factor is that baby boomers are staying in their jobs longer. Studies show that they are twice as likely to have a job as they were 30 years ago. They are not making way for young people and the old adage of ‘working your way up’ isn’t really a reality anymore.
An option that has been gaining a lot of momentum with young people has been to seek workplace representation. While it’s no secret that unions have declined over the past few decades, with the way work is going young people have been viewing them as a way up. With representation, the negative effects of precarious work and underemployment are counterbalanced. They also provide better pay, benefits and protections that allow young people to become more involved in their communities such as purchasing a home or starting a family.
Millennials now make up the largest portion of the workforce, but they also seem to be the most stressed because of the issues they face. There is hope. Young people are finding ways to adapt and change the way the workforce is doing things. By the time Gen Z takes over, there will be a whole new set of challenges young people will face.
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Do you have any questions about your rights in the workplace or need someone to talk to about your job stress? Contact one of our free labour counsellors at (403) 259-4608 or firstname.lastname@example.org.