Whatever you do, don't be youngby Torsten Bell / August 17, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in September 2018 issue of Prospect Magazine
The financial crisis was a disaster for everyone, but young adults were hardest hit. Those in their twen- ties were the only age group to see a pay squeeze of over 10 per cent. Ten years on, as they head into their thirties, this group still has the most ground to make up.
Even before the crisis, the young were slipping behind their parents in important respects, with home-ownership in particu- lar slipping out of reach. Britain’s post-war baby boomer generation thrived by buying young. But it’s become much harder since— millennials today are half as likely to own their home by 30 as their parents’ genera- tion. Meanwhile, commute times are on the up for the young. High rents and prices seem to be pushing them further away from work.
Grumpy boomers may suspect this is all down to feckless youth blowing their cash on fancy phones, holidays and meals out. But in fact, if anyone’s burning through extra cash it’s older generations. At the turn of the cen- tury young adults and older workers spent more or less the same. A decade and a half on, the young were spending 15 per cent a week less than those approaching retirement. Those lazy clichés about avocados should be toast.