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Letters to the Editor: ‘Generation Asterisk’ — college grads kicked into the coronavirus job market

To the editor: The COVID-19 pandemic probably means it is time to name the generation of young people graduating from college into one of the worst job markets in history. I propose “Generation Asterisk” — or “GenAst” or simply “Gen*.”

As every sport fan knows, an asterisk beside an entry in a record book denotes a shortened season or some other foot-notable difference. The challenges that will face this generation will certainly be their defining difference.

Added bonus? It might remove “asterisk” from the list of 10 most mispronounced words in the English language.

Steve Wood, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: There is no doubt that members of the class of 2020 are in for a difficult time securing employment, with potential lasting repercussions. I am certainly seeing this now in my private career counseling practice with clients who are graduating seniors.

It may be misleading, however, to compare the lasting repercussions of past recessions to this one, before which California and many other states and localities enacted laws barring employers from asking candidates about their previous salaries during interviews.

This could mitigate the lasting impact of this recession, enabling those who have changed jobs to get paid fairly for future positions. As long as the graduates continue to build their skills, knowledge and connections, there is hope they may recover more quickly than people who graduated in previous recessions.

Linda Greenfield, Calabasas

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To the editor: If our federal government only had a brain, it would employ the 2020 graduates and train them as the army of trackers needed for the COVID-19 response going forward.

Yes, this would be a new kind of public service, but it would also put to work those young people who are graduating and facing a very strange future. They would have something productive to do, both for themselves and the rest of us, and they could be very proud of their work.

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Lori Haythorn, Westchester


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