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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
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Experiences and Perspectives of Young Workers

Accessible Version

Figure 1. Would you say your expectations about future job opportunities are:
  2013 2015
Pessimistic 21% 10%
Not sure 34% 28%
Optimistic 45% 61%
Number of Responses 2097 2035

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Figure 2. Please indicate whether any of the factors contributed to your feeling optimistic about your future job opportuntities
Factor Percent
My local labor market provides many job opportunities 57
My previous work experience 72
My field of study 76
There is demand for the type of work I do 77
My current level of education and training 78
I will have enough eduation and training in the future 81

Note: Number of responses is 1,230.

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Figure 3. Please indicate whether any of the factors contributed to your feeling pessimistic about your future job opportuntities
Factor Percent
My field of study 47
Lack of demand for the type of work I do 47
Lack of opportunities for education and training 51
My local labor market does not provide many job opportunities 57
My current level of education and training 67
Lack of previous work experience 68

Note: Number of responses is 219.

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Figure 4. Please indicate whether any of the factors contributed to your feeling not sure about your future job opportuntities
Factor Percent
My field of study 37
The demand for the type of work I do 36
Lack of previous work experience 36
Future opportunties for education and training 37
My local labor market 42
My current level of education and training 51

Note: Number of responses is 580.

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Figure 5. Is it more improtant to have a job that pays more or a job that is more likely to provide steady employment?
  2013 2015
Steady Employment 67% 62%
Higher Pay 30% 36%

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Box 1 Figure A. Expectations about future job opportunities are "Optimistic" (by race)
  2013 2015
White 44% 64%
Black 44% 63%
Hispanic 45% 56%

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Figure 6. When you reach your parents' current age, how do you expect your standard of living to compare to their current standard of living? (by parents' educational attainment)
  LOWER STANDARD of living than my parents HIGHER STANDARD of living than my parents
High school or less 1% 19%
Bachelor's degree or higher 4% 17%

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Figure 7. Please indicate whether you used any of the following forms of financing for your most recent educational program
Form of financing Percent
Tuition reimbursement from employer (including military) 10
I paid with my own savings 38
Academic scholarship 39
Financial-aid based loans (including FAFSA loans) 46
Financial-aid based grant (including Pell Grant and FAFSA grants) 46
My parents contributed (with or without the use of loans) 52
I worked while in school 62

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Figure 8. Were the financial benefits of most recent educational program greater than the costs?
  2013 - Respondents with post-secondary education 2015 - Respondents with post-secondary education
The financial benefits are LARGER than the costs 41% 50%
The financial benefits are ABOUT THE SAME as the costs 15% 13%
The financial benefits are SMALLER than the costs 23% 18%
I don't know 21% 18%

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Figure 9. Believe to have the level of education and training needed for the type of job that you would like to hold in the next 5 years
Educational Attainment All respondents
Less than high school 29%
High school diploma or equivalent GED 35%
Some college, no degree or certification 30%
Certificate or technical degree 54%
Associate degree 38%
Bachelorís degree 59%
Masterís degree 76%
Professional or Doctorate degree 90%

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Figure 10. How much each reason describes why you are not enrolled (Among those who are interested in additional education, but are not currently enrolled)
  Very Much describes why not enrolled Somewhat describes why not enrolled Total
I am in the process of applying 11% 15% 26%
The program is not offered at my local institutions 7% 21% 28%
I am concerned the programs will be too challenging 6% 23% 29%
I don’t meet the requirements to enroll 8% 22% 30%
I don’t know where to enroll 7% 26% 33%
I am concerned that even after the program, I will not land a job in my field 12% 29% 41%
I am gaining work experience 15% 29% 44%
I don’t know which program will improve my job opportunities 16% 29% 45%
The schedule does not work for me 17% 31% 48%
I have family responsibilities 25% 23% 48%
I can’t afford to enroll 33% 28% 61%
I don’t want to borrow money to enroll 33% 31% 64%

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Figure 11. Received information about jobs and careers
  2013 2015
During high school 63% 66%
During college (if applicable) 66% 69%

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Figure 12. Where did you obtain information about jobs and careers?
  During high school During college (if applicable)
High school teacher/college professor or counselor 76% 71%
Online research 41% 57%
on-campus research   45%
Friends and family 49% 43%
Parent(s) 56% 37%
Career fair   23%
Employment services agency 11% 15%
A business where I worked 7% 13%

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Figure 13. When you last searched for a job, please indicate whether you used each of the following strategies during the whole process
  Bachelor's degree Certificate or technical degree High school or less
I contacted the employer directly 61% 44% 64%
Searched electronic job boards (e.g., Monster, CareerBuilder) 53% 42% 29%
Family and friends (not parents) provided a contact 27% 30% 29%
Posted online resume / advertisement (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter) 31% 36% 21%
Recruited by employer 22% 19% 18%
My parents(s) provided a contact 13% 7% 15%
Career fair 21% 5% 12%
Services from an employment center 11% 6% 10%
Services from school, teacher, professor, or counselor 17% 17% 8%
New job within company I was already employed by 12% 10% 8%

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Box 4 Figure B. Where did you obtain information about jobs and careers? (by race and ethnicity)
  White Black Hispanic
Received information from parents 66% 51% 41%
Received information from friends 53% 49% 40%

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Figure 14. Permanent and temporary job status (among Employees)
  Percent
Permanent/long-term 78
Temporary 14
I don't know 7

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Figure 15. Full-time and part-time job status (among Employees)
  Percent
Part-time 25
Full-time 75

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Figure 16. Number of paid jobs in past year and number or paid jobs expect to have in coming year
  How many paid jobs have you had in the past year? How many paid jobs do you expect to have in the next year?
One full-time job 63% 80%
Two full-time jobs 15% 6%
Three or more full-time jobs 3% 2%
One part-time job 32% 32%
Two part-time jobs 10% 6%
Three or more part-time jobs 6% 4%
Expect to work at more than one job at the same time (among respondents who have had or expect to have more than one job) 39% 50%

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Figure 17. Satisfaction with the total amount of salary or wages and benefits at the job or jobs you now hold
  Salary and wages-2013 Salary and wages-2015 Benefits-2013 Benefits-2015
Somewhat satisfied 38% 42% 24% 28%
Very Satisfied 12% 19% 18% 21%

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Figure 18. Access to benefits
  2013 2015
Have health insurance from any source 70% 82%
Received paid time off for sick leave and/or holidays from any of your paid jobs 59% 62%
Training opportunities through employer(s) 43% 43%

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Figure 19. Would you be able to pay your living expenses?
  If you were out of work for the next 4 weeks, would you able to pay your living expenses?-2013 If you were out of work for the next 4 weeks, would you able to pay your living expenses?-2015 If you were out of work for the next 3 months, would you able to pay your living expenses?-2013 If you were out of work for the next 3 months, would you able to pay your living expenses?-2015
Yes 38% 45% 24% 40%

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Last update: February 2, 2017

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