The incredible shrinking incomes of young Americans

Not that it comes as a shock, but The Atlantic reports that real wages for young people have fallen by more than 10% over the past five years. The only sector that’s seen a boost is health care; all the others – manufacturing, professions and business, retail and wholesale, leisure and hospitality — are down.

This is going to make it even harder for the Millennials to get untracked, relative to where the Boomers and Gen X’ers were at the same age. And it must be said (coming from someone who has sometimes been critical of the Millennials), it really isn’t their fault. The 2008 recession, the exporting of high-tech jobs, and the disconnect of so much of the educational system from the real world, have constituted a kind of “perfect storm” that the Millennials really can’t be expected to have coped with.

These charts tell the tale:

Young People’s Wages Have Fallen Across Industries Between 2007 and 2013

Census: Current Population Survey


The Wages of the Youngest Workers (Ages 18-24) Have Fallen, Too

Census: Current Population Survey


Savings Rates Since 2004, by Age


The only surprising thing in all this is that the advertising industry still hasn’t caught on. It continues to overspend against younger consumers and underspend against the people who have all the money — the Boomers and seniors. (Not that many of them aren’t struggling, either.)

Read the article. The only good news — maybe — is that at least the Millennials have a very long life-span ahead of them, and they will eventually recover.

The Incredible Shrinking Incomes of Young Americans – The Atlantic.


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. Vice President, Zoomer Media Ltd. . Author of "The New Old" . 30 years experience in marketing communications, advertising, media . Speaker, writer, commentator on the revolution in aging and how to market to Boomers and seniors

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