Understanding how the Millennial Generation Works
The Millennial Generation, or Generation Y, are typically those that were born in the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s.
Essentially, the ‘young adults’ of our world today, ageing between 18 to the early 30’s, the Millennial’s have been redefining the rules of life and work.
A lot of how the Millennial Generation have been living their lives lies in stark contrast to the previous generations, whether it is the Baby Boomers (born between 1940’s and 1960’s) or the Generation X (born between 1960’s and 1980’s).
Millennials are the largest, most diverse, and most highly educated generation in the world today
There are several characteristics that set apart the Millennial Generation from the rest. They are known to be ambitious and team players, and they appreciate a good work-life balance, fast promotions, and most importantly, job satisfaction.
They have been shaped by technology and have lived their lives in a fast paced, and highly competitive world. Like other generations, there are certain historic world events that have affected and shaped the lives of the Millennial’s too.
These ‘defining moments’ include the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the 9/11 attacks. The greatest event however that has affected the lives of the Millennial generation is undoubtedly the recession that hit in 2007.
And for this reason, even though they are the largest, most diverse, and most highly educated generation in the world today, the Millennial’s are also the most financially disadvantaged.
Living Through Difficult Times
The oldest Millennial was just 27 when the recession began in December 2007. Between 2007 and 2009, unemployment rose at an unprecedented rate, and the Millennial’s struggled to lay down a strong foundation for their careers.
As young adults, they had to face tough choices regarding their career and education in economically trying times.
The economy has been picking up since then, but at a rate that is far too slow for the Millennial’s. Over the years, the young adults of Generation Y have experienced a slow economy, stagnant wages, and slow career growth.
Millennial’s are on their way to becoming much less prosperous
These are often combined with heavy student loans, expensive Social Security and Health insurance, rising tuition fees, and higher mortgages.
With a sharp decline in middle-skilled and labor jobs, Millennial’s who never earned a higher education find themselves in a more worrying position, one where the jobs are too few and the wages too low.
The result? The educated, responsible and ambitious Millennial’s are on their way to becoming much less prosperous than their predecessors.
Will the Millennial’s Ever Catch Up?
Let’s take a brief glance at some figures. Between 1980 and 2000, the average income of a working class individual ranged between $35,835 to $37,355. After the recession hit in 2007 however, average incomes dropped to $33,833.
That is a 9.3% drop in only ten years, and has been the lowest since 1980. In terms of net worth, the Generation X enjoyed a financial peak in the 1990’s, while currently the Generation Y is struggling through the lowest financial net worth observed in a long time.
The average net worth of a Millennial today is close to $10,400 which is a sharp drop from the $18,200 net worth that individuals of Generation Y enjoyed over two decades ago.
Millennial today is close to $10,400 which is a sharp drop from the $18,200 net worth that individuals of Generation Y
Why haven’t the Millennial’s caught up? If the slow economy, lower wages, and ricing prices aren’t reason enough, another major factor is the the reluctance to invest.
The unstable economic times and the fear of yet another recession keeps Millennial’s from investing – with most of their money in cash, the average working class individual cannot hope to raise their net worth any time soon.
With a tight budget, the Millennial’s are not saving much, and instead, most of them have been eating into their savings.
Thin paychecks and rising debts (federal debts are believed to rise from 74% to 181% in the next 80 years) has almost become a way of life for most Millennial’s.
Those who start off in unstable economic times will never earn as much as those who started off when the economy was stronger
Most Millennial’s started their job hunts at the peak of recession. Several are just starting off, during economic times that are definitely better, but still unpredictable and unstable.
The financial obstacles that young adults face are far too many and far too big, and the sad truth is that if you start behind you almost never catch up.
Research indicates that those who start off in unstable economic times will never earn as much as those who started off when the economy was stronger.
Although recovering, the recession still affects many young adults trying to set up a career and will do so for many years to come.
Pulling up the Economy- A Heavy Responsibility to Shoulder
The Recession is often blamed on the Baby Boomers and their irresponsible approach towards economy. It is now on the responsibility of the Millennials to pull up the economy and make the world a better place for the coming generations.
Graduates today have access to training and skills program, cheaper health insurance and more affordable mortgages
Can they do it? The USA has been setting up policies to help the Millennials’ through trying times and allow them to get back on their feet.
These policies include making student loans more affordable, promoting equal pay, pushing for digital literacy, and creating more jobs.
Fresh graduates today have access to training and skills program, cheaper health insurance and more affordable mortgages, and a slowly but steadily expanding horizon of opportunities.
Countries and companies all across the world have policies in place to support their Generation Y, understanding that the prospects of a better future lie now in the hands of the Millennial’s.