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Young adults want more than factory jobs
Experts, as well as millennials themselves, are finding that young people are seeking out jobs that allow creativity or anything besides typical, 9-to-5 factory work, even if those jobs start with lower pay and require more experience. - photo by Mandy Morgan
"I like being able to be creative. And you can't do that in a factory."

This is what Stephanie had to say about working in a standard factory-type job, according to David Lapp, in a blog post for the Institute of Family Studies. Lapp and his wife Amber used 100 personal interviews with young adults like Stephanie, combined with data from the Love and Marriage in Middle America project in an Ohio town to better understand how young adults form families and relationships.

The Lapps, research fellows at the Institute of Family Studies, a nonprofit, research-based institute based in Virginia, have found that young people are more likely to seek jobs that allow creativity or anything besides typical, 9-to-5 factory work, even if the pay starts lower or requires more experience.

"When we read the reports of sociologists and economists, we hear a lot about the loss of well-paying manufacturing jobs in working-class America," Lapp wrote of the couple's research with working-class young adults in the Midwest, where actual factory jobs are common. "Naturally, then, we expected to find that young people would embrace what factory work did remain. But many times we heard just the opposite."

There are many different reasons these jobs are less than ideal to many younger people, but some of the most relevant reasoning comes with societal expectations with education and careers.

"(Some young adults) pointed out that society says that to be successful, you should get a four-year college degree. So, in this interpretation, it's not so much laziness on the part of working-class young adults that is the culprit, as it is noting the signs of the times and doing what society tells them they should do. In this view, avoiding factory work is simply being smart," Lapp wrote in another post for IFS.

However, it isn't just factory jobs that millennials are steering clear of the concept of being a standard "factory worker" in any industry is the last thing anybody should be settling for, wrote Ego Free Media Group, a branding and marketing company.

It comes down to whether people are hired to be creative, instead of just to be productive, which is the kind of work schedule and structure older generations came to rely on as the most stable when supporting a family, Ego Free wrote.

According to a 2012 study, "72 percent of students, as opposed to 53 percent of workers, consider having 'a job where I can make an impact' to be very important or essential to their happiness," reported Forbes. Millennials and young people are changing the workforce because of their expectations and desire to create, not just do.
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