Millennials spending less time between jobs than older workers

The Canadian Press
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But getting lower-paid jobs

Millennials may be facing a tough job market, but they are the age group spending the least amount of time between jobs, according to an online jobs site.

Monster Canada says recent numbers from Statistics Canada show that the average length of unemployment for youth has levelled off since last year, with those between 15 and 24 spending only 13 weeks between jobs compared with 25 weeks for those between 45 and 64.

But Mark Swartz, a career coach at Monster.ca, says that isn’t necessarily good news for millennials.

“There are quite a few good jobs that are being posted, but the competition is high because at this stage in Canada there’s an oversupply of labour in the 15- to 24-year-old age group and an undersupply of good, solid jobs,” he said.

“You have folks out there scrambling to find employment, and there is quite a bit of settling ... or it may be precarious labour (that) can easily be taken away.”

Older workers may take longer to find a job, but they are more likely to end up with mid-level and senior positions that employers screen for more carefully because bringing in the wrong person comes at a higher cost.

“People in the younger age groups are finding work that pays less than folks who are in the middle ages or upper realms,” Swartz said.

“For every $100,000-a-year job ... there are tons more of minimum-wage, entry-level positions and that kind of skews the results.”

He suggests younger job seekers leverage any knowledge or experience they have when applying for positions, as well as extracurricular activities or summer jobs that show they can be professional and reliable.

It’s also a good idea to make connections with professors who can help put them in touch with potential employers and to have a good budget and financial plan to allow for as much time as possible to find the right job.

“The next job could be just around the corner ... but if it takes longer than expected, people start to become anxious and all of those notions of their ideal job preferences start to fall by the wayside as they become tempted to take the first job that comes their way,” Swartz said.

“That first job frequently is not the one that is going to be best for you, so the more time you can give yourself financially to hold out for suitable employment that’s going to be satisfying for you and also give you the opportunity for upward mobility, the better it is for your career.”

Organizations: Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Canada

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