In the last few years, hot topics in the news are the economy and the state of the job market. Parents warn their college-aged children not to expect a well-paying, full-time job immediately after graduation, while others plan to bounce from part-time job to part-time job. This mindset is so deeply ingrained that few people question whether or not the idea of job insecurity is true. Will millennials really have to constantly switch jobs and struggle to find a paycheck that allows them to live decently? Is everyone under the age of 30 going to end up living in their parents’ basement for the next several years? A recent article in The New Yorker argues otherwise.
It’s touted that remaining at one company and working your way up the corporate ladder is a thing of the past, but research shows differently. The concept of people working at the same job from when they were in their 20s and 30s until retirement seems like something of the past, yet it may be that such a reality never exactly existed the way we think it did. Now, a worker usually stays at his or her job six months longer than they did a decade or so ago. Looking further back, employees typically stay at a job around a year longer than they did in the 1980s.
This type of increased job stability may seem like a good thing, but it could also mean the economy isn’t doing as well. In a strong economy, workers frequently switch careers in an effort to find a better paying job. Or, it could mean that people today have a better understanding of the type of work they’ll enjoy and then get jobs in those areas.
The Real Job Insecurity
Though the outlook for younger workers doesn’t seem too bad concerning job security, there’s one group that has experienced increased insecurity in their jobs – men around middle-age or older. The amount of men at fifty-five who have been in their careers 15 or 25 years has drastically plummeted. Retirement is also later, which means most people feel the pressure to work longer to survive. Job loss in middle-age is a real problem, because of its frequency and the difficulty of finding another job. This trend has led to increased anxiety for middle-aged men, but no one is really talking about it. At some point, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed, because it’ll eventually affect the younger generations as well.