Millennials Optimistic Despite Grim Job Stats

millennialsMore than one-third of Millennials are unemployed or out of the workforce, according to a new report from the prestigious Pew Research Center.

And, according to the report, the job market isn't likely to get better anytime soon for the 18-to-24 set.

Despite those dismal statistics, Millennials seem to remain optimistic about their future. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed by Pew feel that their economic fortunes will turn around. And why not; they have time on their side.

As you dig deeper in the study, though, you find that optimism, especially short-term hopes of having a good life, vary depending on a young person's circumstances. Those out on their own and with little or no college education are far more pessimistic than those with higher educations and support from their parents.

I spoke with several Millennials on Long Island, New York, and discovered both mixed reactions to the report and a range of outlooks on their own immediate prospects.True to the study's conclusions, a lot depended on where they were in life and what careers they were seeking.

Alejandro, 22, had to leave school to make money and is working in a restaurant. "I'm not too optimistic about my future," he said. "I am barely getting by and I can't afford to go back to school. I feel lucky that I have the job I have, but it doesn't pay very well and who knows if I'll get laid off tomorrow."

Caitlin is 19, in school, and hopeful about the future because she feels she needs to be. "I'm trying to stay optimistic," she told me. "If you get pessimistic, you're going to get bummed out and you're not going to want to apply for stuff and it will ruin your chances of getting a job."

Some people are deciding to stay in school, hoping to ride out the economic downturn. Brittaney is about to graduate from college and had planned to look for a job. "I wasn't that optimistic about finding a job with just a bachelors degree," she said. "So I'm going to law school and hopefully the economy will be better three years from now."

To hear other Millennials offer their take on the recession, watch the video below.

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