“We’re Making Life Too Hard for Millennials.”

photo copyright Satya Byock, 2010

photo copyright Satya Byock, 2010

According to Steven Rattner, an economist and contributing writer for the New York Times, we’re making life too hard for Millennials. To those Millennials who feel that coming into adulthood must be harder than it used to be, there’s data to back it up. The many difficulties around growing-up today include significant economic obstacles and barriers.

Here’s Rattner on Millennials:

They are faced with a slow economy, high unemployment, stagnant wages and student loans that constrict their ability both to maintain a reasonable lifestyle and to save for the future.

And a little perspective:

Americans between 18 and 34 are earning less today (after adjustment for inflation) than the same age group did in the past. A typical millennial averaged earnings of $33,883 (in 2013 dollars) between 2009 and 2013. That was down 9.3 percent (after adjustment for inflation) in just a decade and is the lowest since 1980.

That’s just the beginning. The full article is worth a read, especially for Millennials and their parents who may be butting heads about questions of fiscal responsibility and “responsibility” in general. People in their twenties and thirties are often extremely hard working but up against economic issues that are difficult to put into words and difficult to see in a longer historical context. Rattner helps by providing good data on issues like rent, homeownership, student debt, national economic policies and more.