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If Time Is Money
Olivia Steele, If Time Is Money I Have No Time, 2014, Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery, photo: Uwe Walter

You’re the best educated but worst paid generation in years

American millennials are earning the lowest wages since 1980, but don’t worry – you know your shit

US millennials aged between 18 and 34 are earning the lowest salaries for nearly 40 years, according to the New York Times. A number of factors are contributing to this generation’s anaemic pay packets – the slow recovery of the global economy, high unemployment and cripplingly high student loan repayments. You know, the same kinds of things that are keeping UK millennials scrabbling around in the "reduced" aisles of inner city supermarkets.

Another factor that’s contributing to the stagnation is this generation’s parents, the Baby Boomers, who have left behind a wrecked economy for their offspring to crawl out of. Student debt repayments mean that everyone‘s skint, but as more US kids than ever have been in higher education they’re intellectually better armed than their predecessors. 22.3 per cent of American millennials have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 15 per cent in 1980. However, this isn’t much good if the only place that they can use their brains is shouting the answers to daytime TV quiz shows while scrolling through the internet looking for jobs.

Between the years 2009 and 2013, the average earnings of US millennials was $33,880 – that’s roughly £21,500. Millennials in both the US and the UK also don’t really have any savings and any that we do have we end up using for the present rather than preserving for the future because of our low salaries.

It’s not all doom and gloom though – millennials are smarter than ever. Smart will always be cool, it just doesn’t necessarily pay the rent.