There have been minor signs of improvement in the economy, but unemployment is still high, especially among 16 to 24 year olds, and students know they're at the bottom of the consideration stack of resumes, even for temporary employment.
Students who are in the market for jobs are becoming quickly disenchanted. In a recent Ypulse survey, we were surprised to see that the nearly half of college students looking for jobs had only just begun their search as of April. What's more, they'd sent out an average of just seven job applications. Among high school students, nearly three-quarters are in the market for a job, and 6 in 10 of those had just started looking, sending out an average of just five applications.
While most teens and collegians start out optimistic, they get frustrated after submitting application after application and not hearing back -- or worse, getting rejected. Many simply give up. They've been told their whole lives that if they work hard, get good grades, have the right extra curriculars, they'll get their dream job when they graduate. But it's not turning out that way.
Grads are finding themselves in a state of inertia, afraid to face the challenges of a particularly competitive work environment and unsure of their next move. So they're doing nothing. The option to return home and be a kid a little while longer or to remain a college student for another year or two getting a masters or JD gives the economy time to improve, along with their chance to find jobs.
Even recent grads who are ready to get to work can end up with a "why bother" attitude because they see little logic in striving for a less-than-perfect job when mom and dad are there to lend a helping hand until they land the position they want. After all, Millennials are close to their parents; living at home doesn't mean dealing with authoritarian rule, it means hanging out with people they like to spend time with.
With their parents paying their bills, they can take a break from the stress of classes and job hunting and think about the direction of their lives. Once they find that direction, they'll be ready to make their mark in the workplace.