Yesterday, the Guardian reported on a study which has concluded that, across the world, Generation Y is getting shafted:
A combination of debt, joblessness, globalisation, demographics and rising house prices is depressing the incomes and prospects of millions of young people across the developed world, resulting in unprecedented inequality between generations.
A Guardian investigation into the prospects of millennials – those born between 1980 and the mid-90s, and often otherwise known as Generation Y – has found they are increasingly being cut out of the wealth generated in western societies.
Where 30 years ago young adults used to earn more than national averages, now in many countries they have slumped to earning as much as 20% below their average compatriot. Pensioners by comparison have seen income soar.
The news is really quite depressing:
In seven major economies in North America and Europe, the growth in income of the average young couple and families in their 20s has lagged dramatically behind national averages over the past 30 years.
In two of these countries – the US and Italy – disposable incomes for millennials are scarcely higher in real terms than they were 30 years ago, while the rest of the population has experienced handsome gains.
It is likely to be the first time in industrialised history, save for periods of war or natural disaster, that the incomes of young adults have fallen so far when compared with the rest of society.
In the United States, we are currently witnessing what happens when an entire social class is left behind. Now an entire generation is being left behind. Caelainn and Shiv Malik write:
- Prosperity has plummeted for young adults in the rich world.
- In the US, under-30s are now poorer than retired people.
- In the UK, pensioner disposable income has grown prodigiously – three times as fast as the income of young people.
- Millennials have suffered real terms losses in wages in the US, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Canada and in some countries this was underway even before the 2008 financial crisis.
The Masters Of The Universe have done the young no favours.