Great Recessions Lasting Impact to Millennials Careers and Finances

Millennials (now aged 21 to 37) have paid a price for starting their careers during the Great Recession. They had to face historically weak labor demand and unusually tight credit conditions.

Millennials are less well off than members of earlier generations when they were young, with lower earnings, fewer assets, and less wealth. For debt, millennials hold levels similar to those of Generation X and more than those of the baby boomers.

The two generations that precede millennials are Generation X, which describes individuals born between 1965 and 1980 (ages 38 to 53 in 2018), and baby boomers, who are individuals born between 1946 and 1964 (ages 54 to 72 in 2018). Older cohorts are the Silent Generation, which describes individuals born between 1928 and 1945 (ages 73 to 90 in 2018), and the Greatest Generation, which describes individuals born between 1915 and 1928 (ages 90 to 103 in 2018).

24 thoughts on “Great Recessions Lasting Impact to Millennials Careers and Finances”

  1. I am old so I must have missed all the feminist literary theory courses. Are they really that popular now?

  2. Technology deployed has made jobs fewer and isolated most young people from a living wage. Good news is all us old folks will retire, like it or not, so within 10 years all the boomers will be sidelined. If the government wanted it could lower the social security age. Reducing the length of the work week will create a condition of full employment and labor competition, higher wages and better benefits. None of this will happen sorry.

  3. Imagine a world where you could read what I wrote. Maybe that should be a college class.

    What I wrote: Paying $200k for a humanities degree is unforgivable.
    What I did not write: There should be no humanities.

    If anything I suspect that much of the destruction of artistic intellectual property (e.g. the destruction of Star Trek, Star Wars, DC movies, and Dr Who) is the byproduct of $200k humanities majors who were pumped full of feminist literary theory and set loose on multi billion dollar franchises. Having nary a clue about what made these franchises valuable these writers proceeded to write screenplay screeds about what they were taught in their postmodern fem-lit Chaucer classes.

  4. Imagine a world without the Arts. How boring. We might as well all be dead.

    You may want to review what the Humanities are.

  5. It definitely is. Especially since most jobs will soon be “contractor” or freelance, not employee with benefits.

  6. You’ll do better when you realize that if you take control of your own life you can enhance your work ethic as well as well as you own skills.

    Choose how to define yourself and focus on you getting things done on your own.

  7. Not to mention that their area of study may not actually lead to any kind of useful employment. Paying $200k for a humanities degree is unforgivable.

  8. They intend on repairing the damage and altering the state quo of the last half century or so that created the problems.

    Really? How? In my experience many of the stereotypical millennials plan on making everything free as a solution to the problems of society. College loans forgiven, College 100% subsidized (aka free), healthcare a free right, rent controls, etc.

    If you can’t identify the cause of a problem then you have no hope of offering a solution. That’s just the engineer in me talking about reality.

    Try talking to these ‘kids’ sometime. They’re quite passionate and dedicated to these causes.

    Don’t confuse passion to fix all the things with having a workable plan to fix anything. Passion in the absence of workable solutions is just a revolutionary waiting to blame all the unintended consequences of their grand vision on dastardly counterrevolutionaries who are sabotaging utopia (e.g. how Maduro deals with reality in Venezuela).

  9. Salaries and benefits were relatively high because unions were a powerful force protecting workers and their futures. As the economy has come back from dips and then the recession, salaries have dipped painfully low with no protections. At the same time college loans, housing and food is high.

  10. Millennials remember. They remember the bust and then the recession that followed. They certainly remember the Great Recession. They remember their parents get screwed over by their long term employers, thrown to the curb after years of loyal service like trash. They remember their parents getting screwed over by the banks and losing their retirement. They remember the pain trickling down to them and affecting their existence and security. And you know what? They intend on repairing the damage and altering the state quo of the last half century or so that created the problems. Try talking to these ‘kids’ sometime. They’re quite passionate and dedicated to these causes. The people that are currently badmouthing them are the people theyre gunning for. I’m guessing there’s a fear of their existence and reality being upended.

  11. Hence Millennials’ fondness for socialism–and, in lesser numbers, fascism and monarchism. When the current system has screwed you, alternatives start to look more attractive.

  12. Screw all those who are going to talk down to us Millennials about how lazy, etc we allegedly are. We’re going to do the best we can with what we have, just like every previous generation.

  13. “The connection between the oversupply of labour and plummeting living standards for the poor is one of the more robust generalisations in history.” Peter Turchin, Return of the oppressed, aeon magazine. 

    US History teaches much the same. “After World War I, laws were passed [the 1924 Johnson–Reed Act] severely limiting immigration. . . . By keeping labor supply down, immigration restriction tends to keep wages high. Let us underline this basic principle: Limitation of the supply of any grade of labor relative to all other productive factors can be expected to raise its wage rate; an increase in supply will, other things being equal, tend to depress wage rates” Paul Samuelson, quoted by Professor George Borjas, Harvard.

    “The three decades . . . from the mid forties to the mid seventies, were the golden age of manual labor.” Why were times so good for blue collar workers? To some extent they were helped by the state of the world economy. They were also helped by a scarcity of labor created by the severe immigration restrictions imposed by the [ Johnson–Reed ] Immigration Act of 1924.” Paul Krugman, Conscience of a Liberal, Chapter 3 (pages 48-49)

    Also see Birth and Fortune by Richard Easterlin, and The Lucky Few by Elwood Carlson

  14. You can thank those who voted for LBJ for the Student Loan problem, and other disasters (Vietnam, more poverty, government spending, over population (Hart Celler), . . . )

  15. Only gets worse as the government has to try to hoover up as much wealth as possible to delay becoming unable to meet it’s wealth transfer obligations.

  16. I am worried that the bad experience of the Millennial in finding work will make them easy prey for unscrupulous employers. That their future is to be over worked and under paid.

  17. I would point out that, if you compare the trajectory of various recessions over the last century, that they have gradually changed.

    Originally a recession would involve a sharp economic drop, hit bottom, and then a quick recovery to where the economy would have been if there’d been no recession. Then economic growth would resume at the prior level.

    Modern recessions keep the sharp drop, but skip the quick recovery. After a while in the doldrums, the economy resumes anemic growth from the bottom, and never rebounds to the non-recessionary economic track.

    Modern recessions end, but they don’t have “recoveries”. Each modern recession represents a permanent loss to the economy.

    See the graph below. (Attribution at bottom of graph.) Perhaps somebody has more recent data?

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