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The millennial generation in the US: Life on the brink

Accepted submission by Anonymous Coward at 2019-05-25 03:53:00 from the it's-all-the-millennials'-fault dept.

The World Socialist Web Site, publication of record of the ICFI [] (SEP), on May 24th released a report about the grim situation many millennials face []:

The stock market is booming, and President Donald Trump is boasting at every turn that the unemployment rate is lower than it has been in five decades.

However, the working class, the vast majority of the population, is confronting an unprecedented social, economic, health and psychological crisis. The same processes that have produced vast sums of wealth for the ruling elite have left millions of workers on the brink of existence.

Perhaps no segment of the population reflects the devastating consequences of these processes so starkly as the generation of young people deemed the "millennials," those born roughly between the years 1981 and 1996. More than half the 72 million American millennials are now in their 30s, with the oldest turning 38 this year.

A recent exposé by the Wall Street Journal noted that millennials are "in worse financial shape than prior living generations and may not recover." The article, "Millennials Near Middle Age in Crisis []," [paywalled] concludes by stating that people born in the 1980s are at risk of becoming "America’s Lost generation."

Selected bullet points from the WSWS article:

  • Millennials have taken on 300 percent more student debt than their parents’ generation. [Source: The College Board, Trends in Student Aid 2013]
  • By 2014, 48 percent of workers with bachelor’s degrees are employed in jobs for which they’re overqualified. [Source: Labor Economist Stephen Rose, published by Urban Institute.]
  • The number of workers in the United States participating in the gig economy is expected to triple to 42 million workers by 2020, and 42 percent of those people are likely to be millennials. [Source: Freshbooks]
  • Between 1978 and 2017, according to the EPI, CEO compensation rose in the US by 1,070 percent, while the typical worker’s compensation over these 39 years rose by a mere 11.2 percent.
  • In the 40 years leading up to the recession, rents increased at more than twice the rate of incomes. [Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.]
  • One in 5 millennials say they cannot afford routine healthcare expenses. Many of these millennials are uninsured because of the cost. An additional 26 percent say they can afford routine health-care costs, but only with difficulty. [Source: Harris Poll]
  • Men and women in their thirties are marrying at rates below every other generation on record. [Source: The Atlantic, “The Death (and Life) of Marriage in America”]
  • It is predicted that most millennials will not be able to retire until age 75. [Source: NerdWallet analysis of federal data]

The report concludes, "Far from becoming the 'Lost Generation' predicted by the Wall Street Journal, this generation of workers carries within it an enormous source of revolutionary potential."

Original Submission