Around 80 percent of the Millennial Generation’s parents didn’t go to college, and 60 percent of them grew up in households making less than $50,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars. Millennials are the most educated generation in American history, yet the only group for whom real wages fell years after the recession began. So contrary to popular belief, most young people aren’t living spoiled or self-indulgent lives (at least any more so than previous generations of youth).
Young people currently have a 15 percent unemployment rate, which is actually normal: since the 1970s, youth unemployment has consistently been about twice the national average regardless of economic conditions. With an overall unemployment rate of around seven percent, young people are just as “idle” as they’ve always been in recent history — if anything, they’re working much harder given that most of their jobs pay lower than ever.
So let’s stop heaping so much scorn on a generation that’s suffering from economic and political forces that were — and remain largely — outside their control. Millennials have their problems, as every generation has, but this pervasive caricature of them as naive and narcissistic brats who are failing America is untrue and counterproductive. Young people have enough problems to deal with, which they’ve largely inherited from previous generations, without having the added anxiety that comes with so much pressure and blame.
Besides, the problems facing this country and the world at large will require everyone to come together. As cliche as that sounds, it’s a fact that can’t be ignored, especially by the older folks who still hold the reigns of economic and political power.
[Note that there is no clear date which the Millennial Generation began or ended; it generally applies to anyone born between the 1980s and the early 2000s.]
Source: The Atlantic