Millennials are the poorest group of 18-34 year olds in three decades

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This morning we learned the U.S. added 321,000 jobs in November. More jobs have now been created in 2014 than in any year since the 1990s.

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But millennials are still struggling.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show this generation of young adults is the poorest in the past three decades — despite being better educated (at least on paper).

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There is some considerable geographic variability here. In Massachusetts, young adults earn $6,500 more than their 1980 peers did. Young adults in Virginia today earn $4,100 more than they did there in 1980. But young adults in Michigan, Wyoming and Alaska all earn about $9,000 less.

The percent of 18-34 year-olds who are employed is also the lowest it's been in four generations:

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And millennials also continue to have higher unemployment rates than the national average.

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There has always been an unemployment rate gap between young adults and the rest of the population, but it remains wide, even as the recession fades from view. Whereas in 2007 the difference was no more than two percent, it's now close to three percent.

The only bright spot in this data is that male millennials have closed the gap with their female peers, after seeing their unemployment rates skyrocket during the great recession.

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"The picture that emerges from these statistics reveals a generation of young adults who may be, at once, both better and worse off than their parents," the Census says, referring to the education part when speaking of the "better off" aspect. Many millennials are still in school, so the numbers could still get better.

But for now, they're still fairly dismal.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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