August 2, 2015

STEVE RATTNER: We’re Making Life Too Hard For Millennials:

Americans between 18 and 34 are earning less today (after adjustment for inflation) than the same age group did in the past. A typical millennial averaged earnings of $33,883 (in 2013 dollars) between 2009 and 2013. That was down 9.3 percent (after adjustment for inflation) in just a decade and is the lowest since 1980. Older Americans have fared considerably better; earnings of all full-time workers were roughly flat between 2000 and 2011.

Still more striking is that millennials have endured falling earnings even though they have attended college in record numbers. . . .

Another huge drag on the finances of younger Americans is the mountain of student debt that has been piled up in recent years. Members of this year’s graduating class left their campuses owing an average of $35,051, about twice the levels borne by their counterparts two decades earlier (after adjusting for inflation). That’s in large part because college is becoming less affordable even as it has become increasingly necessary. Since 1993, average tuition has risen by 234 percent, far above the 63 percent overall inflation rate.

Saddled with debt and thin paychecks, millennials are delaying purchasing cars and new homes, low mortgage rates notwithstanding.

Do tell. Someone should write a book on this.

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