Fri, Mar 18, 2011 - Page 2 News List

‘Strawberry generation’ not bruised as easily as thought

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff Reporter

Contrary to the stereotypical image of young workers being unreliable and irresponsible, two out of every five of the nation’s employees between 15 to 29 years old have kept the same job since they started working, maintaining unbroken employment for a little less than two years on average, a survey by the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) showed.

Young workers are often criticized by their older and more experienced counterparts, who coined the phrase “strawberry generation” to describe a stereotypical image of a younger generation without common sense who bruise, like a strawberry, under the slightest pressure. However, survey results released yesterday by the CLA show that the “strawberry generation” might be tougher than most people think.

NATIONWIDE SURVEY

The CLA in October conducted a nationwide survey of 4,014 people between 15 and 29 years old who are covered by national labor insurance. The survey results showed that about 41 percent have not changed their jobs since they started working. The next-largest group, at 28 percent, have changed jobs only once, the survey showed.

STABLE

The average respondent has worked at 2.1 jobs so far, and has been part of the labor force for an average of 3.9 years. The average length of time that a young worker holds on to the same job is 1.86 years, which is relatively stable and contrary to the stereotypical image of the “strawberry generation,” the council said.

Council officials said that the average respondent has worked at his or her current job for 2.4 years, which is longer than the average length of time spent at the same job and suggests that young workers change jobs more frequently at first, but as they grow more experienced in the workplace, their level of job stability also increases.

Young workers are also quite aggressive when it comes to improving their chances of being hired, with more than half of those surveyed certified and the average young worker having 2.5 job-related certificates to prove their abilities, the survey showed.

Roughly half of them begin career planning and searching for a job before they leave campus, and the average time spent hunting for a job, depending on the level of preparedness, is 2.1 to 2.3 months, faster than for the general worker, who spends an average of three to four months looking for a job.

NOT CONFIDENT

Not all young workers feel confident about landing a job, with close to half of them saying that they had difficulties when they first started looking for work.

The survey showed that one out of three say their lack of experience is the biggest roadblock to starting their career, while one out of four say they do not know what type of occupation they are suited for.

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