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millennials

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If there’s a teen or 20-something in your life, chances are that you’ve seen plenty of “LOL” and “BFF” in your texting conversations.

It seems like text abbreviations are becoming an increasingly prevalent part of written correspondence. Are they making communication more efficient, or are they just making it harder to do so clearly?

flickr user Elizabeth Hahn / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Research seems to suggest that millennials are suffering from a self-image problem, especially when compared with baby boomers and Gen Xers.

And considering that millennials – the age group between 18 and 34 – now make up the largest demographic in the United States work force, it’s worth trying to understand why they think of themselves the way they do.

The millennial generation has had the challenge of dealing with record-high student debt rates.
Simon Cunningham / flickr.com

They tend to not want credit cards or cars. They are postponing marriage, frequently choosing to live at home with mom and dad.  They are grappling with a distressed economy and have high poverty rates to prove it.

They are the millennials, the 18-34 year olds of American society today.

What do all the trends of the millennial generation mean for the future economy as the baby-boom generation moves into retirement and beyond?

User: Eric Allix Rogers / Flickr

A recent report from Bankrate.com finds millennials are not embracing credit cards the way their parents or older siblings have done.

A hefty 63% of millennials do not have a credit card.

Brian O'Connor is the Detroit News personal finance columnist. He says one of the reasons young people aren't using credit cards is that they can't get them. 

"It's harder for kids to qualify – because they probably don't have jobs, and they have a bunch of debts," explains O'Connor.

user:itupictures / flickr

The Millennial generation has been described as lazy and entitled. A generation of people who need instant gratification, and have short attention spans.

That doesn’t sound good at all, especially considering Millennials will soon dominate the workplace. Morley Winograd joined Stateside today to discuss how this generational shift will impact the future of Michigan. He spent most of his life in Michigan and is co-author of three books on the Millennial generation.

“Millennials are America’s largest and most diverse adult generation,” Winograd said. “They not only tend to be united in their beliefs, but they are also pragmatic idealists.”

UAW sign.
UAW

In the 1970s, at the height of its power, the United Auto Workers had more than 1.5 million members. Today it has fewer than 400,000. Some of the reasons behind that include an aging union workforce.

But it’s not just the UAW. As many in the labor movement turn to retirement, unions are looking to rebuild and reinvent with younger members.

Roland Zullo is with the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy at the University of Michigan.

Zullo said that job insecurity is the main reason why young people are not ready to join unions.

State AG Bill Schuette wants to make sure no one can vote straight-ticket this November.
Theresa Thompson / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The curtain is closing on baby boomers, as the so-called "millennial generation" is taking up a larger share of the electorate. This voting block surpasses seniors who are eligible to vote.

But many millennials are not politically engaged.

“We feel that as one voice, as a younger person, we don’t have a lot of say in politics and I think that also drives their decision to remain out of the discussion as well,” said Connor Walby, a millennial and the campaign manager for State Rep. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey.

Walby also said the negative messages in politics that are seen on social media affect millennials' decision to vote as well.

“With our generation and having Twitter and Facebook, we are blasted with a lot of the 24 hour news cycle. And with that you also get a lot of the negative news coverage,” Walby said.  “I think a lot of our generation is pretty sick and tired of some of the policies that have been put in place and they are just sick of the politicians and the political atmosphere in general.”