Economists say we're all feeling a financial pinch, but it's a major squeeze if you're what's called a Millennial, a member of the generation born between 1980 and about 2000. Millennials are considered by some, the hardest hit group in this recession.
Shelly Marshall is newly married and just graduated from college. But things aren't 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.
Marshall is 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,” explained Marshall.
“Only 30% of young people view their current job as part of their career. Nearly have of recent college graduates can’t find full time work,” said Evan Feinberg.
Feinberg leads up Generation Opportunity, a non-profit think-tank.
"My generation is not going to see the same American dream that the older generation did," said Feinberg.
Margaret Simms of the Urban Institute says "yes," there is job growth, although it is still not proportional to demand. She add 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,” said Simms.
And those lucky enough to get hired still may not feel the financial rewards the way their parents did.
“Many of these young people are carrying large student loans and those have a big affect on your ability to build net worth and to get ahead. If you’re paying off your stud 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. And they think they're doing it a lot longer than previous generations. According to a poll by Junior Achievement USA, 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.
And the experts recommend you use any free time to learn new skills, demonstrate good financial behavior and adjust your expectations.
“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,” said Marshall.
Marshall adds that she will also return to school to get her graduate degree.