Society

Millennials Earn 20 Percent Less Than Baby Boomers

| by Jordan Smith

New figures show a drastic decline in income over recent decades that has left millennials earning 20 percent less than baby boomers.

The Federal Reserve data points to one of the major issues for the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, who has pledged to return society to the prosperous conditions of post-World War II America, The Associated Press reports.

Young Invincibles, an advocacy group that focuses on empowering young Americans, released an analysis of the Federal Reserve report on Jan. 13.

The study compared 25 to 34-year-olds in 2013 with the same age group in 1989. After adjusting figures for inflation, the home ownership rate declined from 46 to 43 percent. The median net worth for millennials was 56 percent lower than for baby boomers.

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While whites continue to earn more than blacks and Latinos, the decline in earnings among white millennials compared to baby boomers was greater than among the other groups.

Andrea Ledesma, a 28-year-old college graduate, earns less than her mother did at the same age without a college education. Ledesma shares an apartment with her boyfriend and spoke about the chances of buying a house and starting a family.

"That's not at all how life is now," she said, according to AP. "That's not something that people strive for and it's not something that is even attainable, and I thought it would be at this point."

Ledesma's mother Cheryl Romanowski acknowledged that conditions are harder today.

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"I think the opportunities have just been fading away," Romanowski added.

A report by the Resolution Foundation found similar tendencies in Britain.

Laura Gardiner, the author of the “Stagnation Generation” report, said the global financial crisis played a major role in declining incomes.

"This pay squeeze in particular hit millennials just at the point you expect your pay to be rising most quickly," she said, BBC reported.

BBC spoke to Ian and Claudia, a father and daughter, about their differing experiences.

"At 23 I was in a secure, big company job with a good pension scheme," Ian said. "I had bought my first modest house and I was paying off a mortgage, not student debt."

"I live in a shared house and the idea of me or any of my friends owning a house by ourselves is pretty unforeseeable," added Claudia.

The report found that at age 30, millennials are 50 percent less likely to own their own home than baby boomers.

Sources: The Associated Press via USA Today, BBC / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons

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