Data suggest that millennials are lagging behind baby boomers

In Jan. 9, 2017, photo, Andrea Ledesma, left, talks with her mother, Cheryl Romanowski, at Classic pizza Slice restaurant, where Ledesma works, in Milwaukee.


SOUTH of MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – Baby Boomers: your millennial children are worse off than you.

With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite the fact that the better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.

The analysis, released Friday, gives concrete details about a troubling generational gap that helps to explain that much of the anxiety that is defined in the 2016 election. Millennials have the half of the net value of the baby boomers. Their house is lower while the student debt is dramatically higher.

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The generation gap is a central dilemma for the next presidency of Donald Trump, who essentially promised a return to prosperity after the second world War in America. The analysis also points to the problems of culture and identity that divided many voters, showing that the white millennials — who still earn much more than their black and Latino peers — have seen their incomes decline the most in comparison with boomers.

Andrea Ledesma, 28, says that her parents owned a home and were raising children her age.

Not so for her. Ledesma graduated from the university of four years ago. After moving through a series of tasks, she now earns $18,000 for the make a pizza at Classic Slice in Milwaukee, shares an apartment with her boyfriend and has a $33,000 student debt.

“That’s not quite how life is now, that is not something that people strive for and it is not something that is feasible, and I thought it would be at this point,” Ledesma said.

Her mother Cheryl Romanowski, 55, was making $10,000 per year at her age to work at a bank without a college education. In current dollars, that income is equal to about $19,500.

Romanowski said she envies the choices that her daughter has in life, but she acknowledges that her daughter has it harder than her.

“I think the opportunities that have just been disappearing,” she said.

The analysis of the Fed shows the extent of the decline. In comparison with the 25-to 34-year-olds in 2013, the most recent year available, for the same age group in 1989, after adjustment for inflation.

Education helps the income. But the median college-educated millennial with student debt is only earning a little more than a baby boomer without a diploma in 1989.

The home ownership rate for this age group baptized on 43 percent from 46 percent in 1989, although the speed is improved for millennials with a college degree in comparison with boomers.

The median net worth of millennials is $10,090, 56 percent less than it was for the baby boomers.

Caucasians still dramatically more than Blacks and Latinos, as a result of the legacy of discrimination for employment, education and housing.

But in comparison with white baby boomers, a white millennials appear to be stuck in a pattern of downward mobility. This group has seen their average income in the tumble more than 21 percent to $47,688.

The median income for black millennials has fallen just 1.4 percent to $27,892. Latino millennials earning almost 29 percent more than their boomer predecessors $30,436.

The analysis fits into a wider pattern of reduced risk. Research last year by economists led by Stanford University’s Raj Chetty found that people who were born in 1950 had 79% chances of making more money than their parents. That figure has steadily slid over the past few decades, such that those born in 1980 had only a 50 percent chance of earning of their parents.

This decrease occurred, although the younger Americans are becoming more hbo-trained. The share of 25-to 29-year-olds with a college degree has increased to 35.6 percent in 2015, from 23.2 percent in 1990, a report this month by the Brookings institution noted.

The declining fortunes of millennials can influence baby boomers who are retired or on the eve of his retirement. The payroll taxes of millennials helps in the financing of the Social Security and Medicare benefits that many baby boomers receive programs that Trump has said will not be subject to cuts. And those same baby boomers need the younger generations to buy their homes and invest in the financial markets to protect their own savings.

“The challenges that young adults today, forecast for the challenges that we see on the road,” said Tom Allison, assistant-policy and research director at Young Invincibles.

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