The Recession and its Affects on the Millennial Generation

The year of 2008 will forever be know as the year of bank bail outs, the housing crisis, and ultimately the worst recession this country has seen since the Great Depression. That’s right the Great Depression, an era known for soup lines and an unheard of unemployment rate. The Millennials are Americans born in the mid 80’s into the mid 90’s. It is the generation currently graduating from college or starting their families during a time when the economy is weak, with unemployment rates staying around ten percent, and banks denying credit more often than approving it.

Many people of the Millennial generation find the economic environment daunting and down right hostile. A survey taken in 2010 by Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, focused on the adult group of the Millennial’s, and asked about their ideas and views about the economy. Forty percent of the group said their financial status is described as “just getting by”, with little to no money left over for savings or investments. The Baby Boomer generation (people born post WWII between the years 1946-1964) had a completely different experience. Graduating from college with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the 70’s and 80’s basically guaranteed a good job somewhere, and more importantly a good paying job.

Today a Millennial graduates from college with the hope of making more than twenty thousand dollars per year, which is not nearly enough to support a family and still have money left to save or invest, or enhance your lifestyle which is ultimately the goal. Education isn’t even viewed the same because of the economic burdens it causes for so many. In that same poll forty six percent of Millennials view a four-year degree as to expensive and don’t want to deal with the $80,000 debt that comes with it.

The recession has had an affect on many adult Millennials, from those seeking loans for their first home, to the person with a college degree who has yet to find employment. We hear on the news everyday about the improvements and job creation but have yet to see any tangible improvements. The past three years have proved to be a challenge for many Millennials and unfortunately it will have a lasting effect on the generation.

Labor Department Chief Economist Jesse Rothstein legitimized these concerns:

“There’s increasing evidence that people who graduate [from] college or high school in recessions earn less, have higher unemployment rates, have worse jobs in various measures, for many years after that,” he said. “It may last for 10 years, it may last many years after that.”

To hear that coming from a highly respected person in that position is proof that the recession is having a current affect on the Millennials and will continue to impact the generation for decades to come. However, resilience is a trait common among this generation and it will work through any challenges or hardships. Remember it is the generation that makes up the bulk of the forces fighting in two wars. It is the generation that created its own music genres like Hip hop, produced billions of dollars in business ventures like social networking, and continues to live by the American creed of hard work and hard play are the American way.

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