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The Globe and Mail

Hey job-hogging boomers, today's youth 'don't want your pity'

A mother consoles her daughter

Lisa F. Young/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tuition is on the rise. Youth unemployment is at 20 per cent in some parts of Canada. Are things really worse for the Millennial generation, or are young people today simply spoiled?

For weeks, Globe and Mail readers have been debating whether youth today are really more hard done by than earlier generations. An article by Rob Carrick comparing what it cost to go to school or buy a house in 1984 got hundreds of readers talking in the comments section. One 29-year-old reader even wrote an eloquent letter about what it's like trying to find a job these days.

Clearly, the issue hit a nerve. In a poll on our home page, while the largest group of respondents blamed the economy for youth unemployment (41 per cent), many blamed young people themselves for either getting the wrong degrees (23 per cent) or being lazy (11 per cent).

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We decided we'd like to hear more from readers of all ages, so we asked you to send in your thoughts about what it's like to be twenty-something, both now and back in the day.

Hundreds of readers responded, including Dan Wurster, a 69-year-old occupational hygienist from Bedford, N.S., who said life is not harder today than it was in his day.

"The difference is that the modern generation expects more," Mr. Wurster wrote. "Which of them does not have a smartphone and must spend hours per day texting?"

Charlotte Bumstead, a 24-year-old writer from Newmarket, Ont., said the chance of finding a decent job with a livable salary was comparable to winning the lottery.

"On behalf of my generation, we don't want your pity," Ms. Bumstead wrote. "Go ahead and call us 'lazy and entitled,' we're happy to prove you wrong."

To see what other readers had to say and add your own comments, click here.

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