More Than Half of L.A.'s Millennials Work Crappy Jobs

More Than Half of L.A.'s Millennials Work Crappy Jobs
File photo by Ashley Webb/Flickr

You've been stuck with overpriced education, yet-to-be paid college loans and the worst economy since the Great Depression.

And now the bad news, millennials:

A new UCLA Labor Center report, "Young Workers in L.A.: A Snapshot," concludes that more than half of Los Angeles County's "young workers" — 57 percent of those ages 18 to 29  — are stuck in low-wage jobs.

The school defines low wage as $13.38 an hour or less. Young adults in low-wage jobs in the county make a median hourly income of $9.04, UCLA says. (Some in the millennial generation, which started in the early 1980s and spans 20 birth years, the standard period for generations, are slightly older than the study's age range.)

The center, which analyzed U.S. Census data and other statistics, says exactly one in every four workers in L.A. is between the age of 18 and 29. More than 66 percent of these low-wage workers are Latino, the school says.

Members of this age group in the county have a higher unemployment rate, nearly 18 percent, than the rest of L.A.'s workers, who are dealing with unemployment of 9 percent, UCLA says. More than one in four (28 percent) of African-American millennials in L.A. County are out of work, the report says.

At the same time, the percentage of educated young workers in L.A. is greater than ever. More than one in four (26.8 percent) have a bachelor's degree or higher, UCLA says.

That compares with 15.6 percent in 1980.

Nine out of 10 of 18- to 29-year-old workers in the county have graduated from high school.

Almost one in five of these workers is a parent, and one-third are head of a household, according to the report.

More Than Half of L.A.'s Millennials Work Crappy Jobs
UCLA

The biggest job sectors for L.A. County's young workers will not surprise you: retail and restaurants and bars.

About half of young workers "live independently," the report says; 62 percent rent; and almost one in 10 live below the poverty line.

"This report highlights a critical situation that policy makers, government officials, educators, employers and workers should care about," UCLA states. "If early employment experiences indicate lasting effects on social well-being, economic security and lifelong earnings, the current overview of young workers in Los Angeles County needs to change to ensure upward mobility and growing economic equality for all young workers in Los Angeles."


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