We've been getting poorer by the decade, according to Bloomberg:
Already saddled with student debts averaging almost $20,000, according to New York-based think tank Demos, Gen Y is in a tougher financial position than previous generations. The average salary for 25- to 34-year-olds, for instance, fell 19 percent over the last 30 years, after adjusting for inflation, to $35,100, Demos estimates. That's if they can get jobs: Unemployment among 19- to 24-year-olds stands at 15.3 percent vs. the overall rate of 9.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While many of their parents have guaranteed retirement income from being in a company-funded pension for part of their careers, Gen Y is "the first do-it-yourself retirement generation," says Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies in Los Angeles.
The full article is worth a read, though I wish the data was a little more granular. What are the prospects like for college grads versus non-grads? Technical vs. humanities majors? Urban vs. rural? I suspect most of my employed 25 year-old friends in SF are pulling in more than $35,000.
As a college freshman, most of my friends and I were counting on employers saying "Oh, a 3.5 in social science from a middling liberal arts school? Here's $50,000 a year and purpose!" Caught between the income stability of our parents' generation and the romantic world of start-ups and young entrepreneurship, we slowly watched our cushy dreams evaporate.
Dag. This makes me feel better about busting my ass during college summers and getting into Americorps right after school.