This morning the Herald ran an opinion piece penned by 58-year-old, unemployed West Auckland man, John Riddell. Mr Riddell lost his job in March, and has had no luck finding a new one. While he holds a part-time role, it is not enough to tide him over and his redundancy is about to run out.
While one has to feel sorry for people Mr Riddell’s age who loose their jobs near the end of their career, the unemployment rate for his age group is only 3.7% – the unemployment rate for those aged 30-34 years is 5.6%, 25-29 years 9.3%, and 20-24 a whopping 15%. On top of that, those aged under 35 years are likely to have student loans (which this government has making them pay back faster), not own their own homes (the housing market continues to price us out of the market), and have young children.
But the biggest difference between baby boomers and generation Y and X is that the younger generations have come to except that being made redundant is part of our working life. Like Mr Riddell, I lost my job late last year (it’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy). But interestingly, up until that point, I was one of the few in my peer-group (aged 25-35) who hadn’t been made redundant at some point.
Of course, the Herald doesn’t seem to see fit to give a opinion space to any Gen Y or Xers.
As an aside, I wonder if he is the same John Riddell who twice stood for ACT in Waitakere? Of course, this isn’t relevant, and knowing ACT’s situation, it’s unlikely he’s even an ACT member now, but our right-wing friends always seem to make a big deal about political affiliations.