Millennials’ Outlook Darkens

Posted On July 23, 2012

We’ve typically characterized Millennials as an optimistic generation but that outlook may not survive their present circumstances. According to a widely publicized Newsweek story, Millennials are now America’s most “screwed” generation.  The story cites a host of scary statistics:

  • Millennials’ net worth fell 37% from 2005-2010 (Matures’ fell 13%).
  • The wealth gap between Millennials and Matures is the highest on record.
  • They have the highest unemployment rate at 12%, and it’s worse for younger Millennials
  • Their average credit card and other debt is nearly $13,000
  • The typical student loan burden is $27,000
  • Only about half of graduates are able to find work that utilizes their education and qualifications.

In short, they have little money, lots of debt, and little prospect of finding good jobs. As a result, they’ve significantly downsized their expectations. Most say they do not expect to be as well off as their parents. Many have postponed marriage and childbearing: the birth rate is down 11% and the marriage rate is down 7%. They’ve got the nickname “Generation Rent” because of their dim prospects of becoming homeowners.

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