- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Briana Tony hasn’t graduated from college yet, and she’s already frustrated with the job market.

She’s been through four jobs and said she moved on from each because of a lack of respect and poor upward mobility.

“Our generation isn’t taken seriously at all,” Tony said.

Experts say the young workers of the millennial generation are determined to find the right fit, and they aren’t afraid to shop around even in a tough economy.

A report by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that people born after 1980 have held an average of 6.2 jobs by age 27, and 57 percent of jobs lasted less than a year.

That’s a lot of job hopping, but they’re not the first to do it.

A similar federal report from 2012 showed that Baby Boomers held an average of 5.5 jobs by age 24, and 69 percent of those jobs lasted a year or less. As they aged, they stayed on the job longer.

These days, young workers may be changing jobs for different reasons.

Many stayed in school for longer to avoid looking for work during the depths of the recession, leading to the most educated generation in history. A little more than a third of workers ages 25 to 32 hold at least a bachelor’s degree, according to Atlanta Fed senior research analyst Mark Carter.

Now they’re leaving college with skyrocketing student loan debt and entering a nearly stagnant job market where they’re mostly finding entry-level positions with little hope for improvement. When they switch jobs, they often find themselves in the same situation with a new company.

“It’s all compounded to a degree because a lot of the Baby Boomer generation isn’t retiring, so those jobs aren’t opening up,” said Carolyn Trent, socioeconomic analyst for the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research. “That’s led to fewer opportunities to advance.”

Trent said many of those millennials were hired at a bargain price during the recession and haven’t been given much of a reason to stick around. Now they’re willing to move on.

“In the old days, we may have just accepted it,” Trent said.

Job goals in general may have changed.

Alabama State University communications major Rita Usher plans to graduate next month and has worked several internships to broaden her skill set and improve herself. She said that approach extends to job hunting.

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