The Millennial Generation: Overtaking the Baby Boomers?

The millennial generation is generally defined as that group of individuals in the U.S.  born between 1980 and 2000. We are hearing a lot about the millennials currently, particularly with regard to how they may affect the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and how they are affecting the workplace. My series of articles on the Baby Boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, would not be complete without drawing some obvious comparisons between that generation and the millennial generation.

  1.  The millennial generation is now the largest generation, in sheer numbers of people. They actually outnumber the huge baby boom generation by about 10 million people, even though their population is increased by immigrants. The Brookings Institute says that by 2020, 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. will be a millennial.
  2. Baby boomers married, in 1970, when the men were about 23.5 yrs of age and women were a little over 20. Millennials marry when men are, on average, 29 and women are 27. Up to 25% of millennials will never marry at all.
  3. Millennials are a more diverse group than baby boomers. Only 57% of millennials are white and 72% of baby boomers are white. Both Hispanic and Asian immigrants have increased the diversity in the U.S.
  4. About 2/3 of millennials ages 25-32 do not have a college degree. Those that do earn almost $20,000 per year more than those with only a high school diploma. It is an impossible comparison in this category with baby boomers since a high school diploma bought much more for them than it does for millennials. You will hear that millennials are over-educated and underemployed. You can see from this statistic that is not necessarily true, though millennials may think it is true. One truth is that, those who sought a higher education, are paying dearly for it in student loan debt.
  5. We often hear about the unemployment rate of the millennials. If the millennials went to college, their unemployment rate is only 3.8%. Without the college degree, it is over 12%. So, if millennials further their education, their unemployment rate is much lower than that of the general population. They are pickier about their jobs than the baby boomers. They will take less money and have a job they enjoy more, unlike the boomers. The baby boomers would work at just about anything in order to survive. Many millennials have had a safety cushion in the form of parents and family to fall back on. That was not necessarily true for the baby boomers.

There is quite a disparity in the characteristics of the baby boomer generation and the millennial generation. The U.S. now has a service economy and we surely need workers for that type of economy. However, with two-thirds of the millennials not having college degrees, this writer wonders who is going to teach our children, do our research and development, be our medical doctors, innovate products, and so many other jobs that need those credentials. Does this mean that we will have to import foreign labor that place a higher value on higher education to do these skilled tasks, such as the Asians? I understand that higher education is expensive and that student loan debt is high. Our politicians must address this if we want our young people to take over our country as the older generations retire. #dailyprompt #writing #blogging #amwriting #millennials #babyboomers

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