When looking at the long-term effects of this recession, one that’s hard to predict will be its impact on the people who are just entering the work force.

Members of the millennial generation (sometimes called Generation Y) are starting their careers in the most difficult work environment since the Great Depression.

Overall unemployment is hovering around 10 percent, but it is much worse for the people with no experience on their resumes. About 37 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds have been underemployed or out of work during the past two years, which is the highest rate in more than 30 years.

Will a generation of college graduates who have been forced to move back in with their parents be ready to take the reins when the economy picks up? People who study these issues say there is more than little reason to believe that young workers will be the first to bounce back.

Having grown up in a period of boom, bust and the housing bubble, younger workers are less likely than their parents to have saddled themselves with hard-to-sell overpriced housing, making them ready to move to where the jobs are.

They also, by necessity, have been more interested in starting their own businesses rather than waiting for the perfect job. That could help when it’s time to find where they fit in the economy that emerges.

The months ahead promise more challenges, as workers navigate their way through problems like flat incomes, declining home values and excess consumer debt.

It appears as though our youngest workers, who are having a hard time now, may be best positioned to prosper later.