Do you think it is difficult to get a job these days, and more difficult now than 12 years ago???
I think one of the most important things that employers look for is experience and if you don't have it, then it will be difficult to get a job. If you start with something small like a part-time job in a takeaway for example, it's still experience and it can help you move up the ladder. But more people have degrees now so it's more competitive as well so experience is important.
Considering this is a student forum so many of us would have been in our early teens and younger 12 years ago I think it's impossible for people like us to judge. Most of us weren't trying to get jobs 12 years ago. For some of the older students in their mid to late 20's they'd have been looking at traditional, student part time jobs which seem to be notoriously difficult to get in on sometimes. For those that legitimately can comment because they were looking for jobs 12 years ago, their opinion is going to be somewhat skewed because 12 years of experience would (hopefully) make a difference.