I’m in my 20s and live in Auckland so as you would expect, about 80 percent of the conversations I have with my peers in some way involves us all whining about how damn broke we are. Older generations call us spoiled and we are often accused of being a generation full of losers who can’t manage our money.
I’ll be the first to admit that credit card temptations, the high price of housing and student loans have made it hard for millennials to get ahead in life, but a new report has found that it’s not all our fault. Apparently, millennials are doomed to make less money than any prior generation. Ouch.
The recent report, by the comptroller’s office in New York City, found that Generation Y earns around 20 percent less than the previous generation at the same point in their lives. Even worse, the slow start to earnings means that millennials may never achieve the same standard of living as their parents.
“Millennials were applying for jobs in the most difficult economic climate since the Great Depression and as a result, a growing number are now working in low-wage industries and earning less than their predecessors,” comptroller Scott M. Stringer explains in a statement. “This group of young people is confronting unique economic challenges that their parents did not have to face. Every generation is expected to do better than the last, but too many millennials are not getting a fair chance to make it.”
The report looked at millennials in New York specifically, however it’s fair to assume that the issue is much more widespread, with other reports showing that internationally, more young people than ever before are working in low wage industries. What’s worse is that many millennials who are stuck in minimum wage jobs are actually Bachelor degree qualified, but struggling to find work in their field. In fact the number of University educated millennials working in low wage industries has increased from 23 percent to 33 percent between 2000 and 2014.
“This generation is at a crossroads,” Stringer said. “They worked hard, got an education, and then faced roadblocks to getting a good-paying job. We need to foster an economy here that helps young people get ahead, not one that holds them back.”