Millennials graduating with debt & no jobs

(WFLX) - You think you have it rough these days?

Well, try being a millennial. That's right.

Economists say we're all feeling the pinch, but it's a major squeeze if you're a millennial. They're considered by some to be the hardest hit group in this recession.

Shelly Marshall has every right to be hopeful. She's newly married and just graduated from college.

Life is good, right? Well, not as good as she wants. There's no dream job yet. "I haven't heard anything back from the ones I have applied for," she said.

She's realistic enough to know it may not happen for a good while. "I know a couple people who in my field have graduated, and they have gotten an internship right after graduation or a volunteer position, but they have yet to get a paying job."

"Only 30 percent of young people view their current job as part of their career," said Evan Feinberg, who leads up Generation Opportunity, a non-profit think tank. "Nearly have of recent college graduates can't find full time work."

Margaret Simms of the Urban Institute says, yes, there is job growth; although, it is still not proportional to demand, and there are other issues. "Older people are less likely to retire, leave the labor market, meaning that unless jobs expand quickly, there won't be very many job openings for younger people to take," she said.

Those lucky enough to get hired still may not feel the financial rewards the way their parent's did. "Many of these young people are carrying large student loans, and those have a big effect on your ability to build net worth and to get ahead. If you're paying off your student loans, you're not going to have enough to invest in a retirement fund to put aside for a down payment for a home," said Simms.

Or even pay for day-to-day expenses which is why more millennials than ever are leaning on mom and dad for help.

They think they'll be doing it a lot longer than previous generations. A quarter of all teens now estimate they'll be 25 to 27 years old before they are financially independent. "If their older brother or sister is still living at home, then the chances are, they think, they'll be doing the same," said Simms.

So what can they do about it? "Until the economy rebounds, this generation needs to fight tooth and nail for opportunity," said Feinberg.

The experts recommend use any free time to learn new skills, demonstrate good financial behavior and adjust your expectations.

This is exactly what Shelly is doing. "My current plan is to, even if they're bad jobs, get the jobs that get you the experience, so eventually I can get the jobs that get me the money," she said.

Shelly tells us she will also return to school to get her graduate degree.

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