Millennials Make $2K Less Than Their Parents Did

Photo: Tetra Images/Getty.
New Census data has revealed some bleak news for Millennials. Research shows that today's young adults make an average of $2,000 less than their parents did in 1980, adjusted for inflation.

The Census' "Young Adults, Then and Now" report also found that, compared with Baby Boomers, more Millennials are living in poverty, with lower employment rates. In 1980, median earnings for full-time workers aged 18 to 34 stood at about $36,000. From 2009 to 2013, that number was closer to $33,000 or $34,000. 

Photo: Courtesy United States Census.
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As The Atlantic notes, the Census data comes from 2013, at a time when the recession was still very fresh. It's also important to factor in the impact of immigration — the share of racial or ethnic minorities has doubled since 1980, with one in four young adults speaking a language other than English at home. The downfall of industrial hubs like Flint and Toledo, which saw larger declines in median incomes, also suggests that non-college-educated Millennials from trade backgrounds may be especially worse off than their parents' generation.

In short, it's a more complex issue than it appears. Some Millennials may be benefiting from today's technological advancements; some, as this data shows, are clearly not. 
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