Young job seekers in the Boston area are having a harder time than their counterparts a decade ago finding jobs. But how hard it is to find a job may depend, in part, on where they look.
Although millennials are sometimes associated with technology startups and the innovation economy, a recent survey by The Boston Globe shows young people in the region make up a higher percentage of the workforce in traditional industries like restaurants, bars and food services, accounting and legal, and travel and tourism.
Private companies are not required to report the demographics of their workforce. Inquiries were made to the 125 companies listed in the Globe’s annual Top Places to Work rankings to gain insights into where millennials work. More than half the companies contacted volunteered information.
“The industries that tend to have more of a need to hire entry-level and early-career roles are more apt to seek out and attract millennials,” said Bruce Allen, founder of Point B Search, a company that recruits for small high-growth companies.
At direct marketing company BBS Inc., all employees are millennials, ages 18 to 35. The Woburn-based company started in 2009 and most of the management today started as entry-level workers, said president Vince Conley. All their job ads are for entry-level positions, he said.
“A brand-new person can come in and within two or three months make a large impact on the company, which is different than at a lot of places,” said Conley. “The younger generation likes that entrepeneurial impact.”
Close behind in employment figures are ALKU, a consulting group, and Flour Bakery. Each of those businesses reported 86 percent of their workforce fit that age group.
Out of the companies designated by Top Places to Work as a large business, Herb Chambers had the highest percent of young workers at 67 percent. See the full list below.
A number of companies that wish to evoke an image of youth, energy, hip and happening edge, may hire with a bias toward younger candidates.
“While blanket generalizations can paint an unfair picture, there certainly are a number of organizations that forgo the inherent advantages of hiring for diversity in favor of pushing for a homogenous environment of only young employees,” said Allen. “For better or worse, the industries that either cater to the younger demographic or need to promote an image of cutting edge innovation, are more likely to seek younger employees.”
Of the nine local information technology companies that responded to the survey, all reported that a slight majority of workers were older than 34. Only companies with more than 50 employees were considered for the Globe’s rankings, which leaves out a number of recent startups in the area.
Nationally, workers under 35 only outnumber older workers in the food preparation and serving-related occupations. The occupations with the smallest proportions of people under 35 are management, business, and financial operations occupations.
In the Boston Metro Area, about 70.7 percent of the total workforce under 35 is employed. That’s about 3 percent less than young adults employed locally in 2000. Still, the area leads the nation in employing 18- to 34-year-olds; more young people in Boston are employed as compared to the national average of 65 percent.
Browse below to see how surveyed companies responded and see how they ranked in the 2014 Top Places to Work.