2020 has been a year that none of us are going to forget for a very long time. With fires, floods and a pandemic that ground the global economy to a halt, we have all been impacted in some way, shape or form this year.
One age group however that has been hit especially hard are Generation Z. Born after the year 1995, Generation Z can often be found just getting started in their career. Often working part time or casually as they study, exploring job opportunities as they graduate high school, or early in their career after graduating tertiary education, these young people have often been some of the first when organisations feel the economic effects of the pandemic.
Because of this, over the past nine months we have seen a massive spike in youth unemployment and underemployment around the world. Here in Queensland, Australia we have seen youth unemployment for those aged 15-25 jump to 15%. On top of this we have seen a further 20% of 15-25 year olds now fall into the underemployed category, working fewer hours than they would like. This means in Queensland we have over one third of 15-25 year olds either without paid work, or with less hours than they would like.
What has been promising however, has been seeing how young people are pivoting to find new sources of income. Over the past nine months we have seen a spike in youth entrepreneurship with young people starting their own businesses and creating their own ventures to build their own source of income.
Focussing on the traditional small business model we have seen young people across the country and around the world launching their own ecommerce stores, selling homemade goods and offering services such as digital marketing or photo editing.
So for those of you with young people in your life I implore you to do you part in supporting them on their journey. Support their small business, be a mentor for them as they navigate the twists and turns of adult life, and if you’re in the fortunate position of hiring, consider some of the advantages hiring a young person might bring to your team.
Whilst this generation have been hit hard over the past nine months, they are resilient, entrepreneurial, innovative and they’re only just getting started!