The savings rate for Americans under 35 is negative 1.8 percent

Via here, and also here. The other concerning factor: the real cost of goods is essentially outpacing the wages most “millennials” can get. (Oh, and if you want to pile it on, wages for young people are growing 60 percent slower than average wages.) Here’s the chart:

Wages For Young Americans (And Savings)

I don’t have a ton to say about this, honestly. I vaguely understand economics — I got a D-Minus in MicroEcon frosh year of college — so most things I’d say wouldn’t add a ton of value to the overall discourse. (I wanted to say something about how Baby Boomers aren’t retiring, but I don’t think that affects real wages.)

I do, broadly, think the establishment of the millennial generation as the main working/home-owning generation is going to be tough. What they want out of cities is different, the middle class isn’t exactly thriving in those environments, and people seemingly want to work in San Francisco and related places but can’t afford it. I worry about it, to be sure. More on that in my next post.

Could you make an argument that the Baby Boomer generation will be the last generation in American history that will have a mostly-secure retirement?

Ted Bauer


  1. For this I think it is entirely appropriate to play the blame game. In other words, it’s not Millennials’ fault that they can’t save/succeed/get a foot in the door. The evidence of their collective efforts to participate as productive members of society and “do the right things” can be illustrated by multiple metrics.

    One of the most important metrics to judge this Millennial effort is by looking at college enrollment rates. According to the link below, college enrollment rates of 18 to 24 year olds has increased from 26% to 41% over the past 3 decades. Increased enrollment has been met with increased costs, which has contributed to this lack of earning/buying power among Millennials. Graduation rates have also increased (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40).

    So, they’re trying. They’re grinding it out, jumping through the hoops…it just isn’t paying off. It’s tough when satisfaction is based on a moving target.


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