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Posted on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 : 10:39 a.m.

Millennials & the economy: A bit of good news?

By Wayne Baker

0225 Young adults celebrate.jpg

Changes in the economy may have young adults celebrating.

Photo courtesy of Read the Spirit

All this week we’ve discussed the troubles facing Millennials — those aged 18-29 — amid the economic recession. Today, we’re finally sharing a bit of good news!

Turns out that optimistic Millennials — those who believe their fortunes will soon improve — may not be so out of touch with reality. Small but significant changes in the employment market are promising signs for today’s college graduates.

The National Association of Colleges and Employees reports that employers anticipate hiring 13.5 percent more college graduates in 2011 than they hired from the class of 2010. To give you a comparison, employers surveyed in 2009 hired almost 22 percent fewer college grads than 2008.

2011 marks the first year employers have indicated plans to increase hiring of new grads since the start of the recession in 2007.

On a broader scale, the national employment market is also looking up. Yesterday the Department of Labor released a report indicating the number of jobless insurance claims is at two and a half year low.

The beginning signs of economic recovery are welcome news. Millennials with steady jobs and regular paychecks are more likely to make big purchases, including cars and houses, further stimulating our economy.

But we’re far from the finish line. The damage of the recession will remain long after employment numbers have returned to normal. The sooner we recognize the long-term benefits of investing in our nation’s youth, the brighter the road to recovery will look.

As we wrap up the week, we want to hear your final thoughts!

If you’re a Millennial, how do you see the future?
If you know a Millennial, what are your concerns for this generation?
Whatever your age, do you see hopeful signs on the horizon?

Gayle Campbell is a recent U of M graduate and the Media Director at, an online magazine promoting civil dialogue on American ethics and values. Gayle can be reached at