- Forty-five per cent of millennials think they earn less than their peers, according to a new survey by Insider and Morning Consult.
- Only 34% of millennials think they earn more, and 21% said they didn’t know.
- The picture is brighter debt-wise – 48% per cent of millennials think they have less debt than their peers, while 35% think they have more.
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Millennials are pretty grim about their wages – at least when they compare themselves to the rest of their generation.
Forty-five per cent of millennials think they make less money than their peers, according to a new survey by Insider and Morning Consult. Fewer millennials (34%) think they earn more (the remaining 21% selected “don’t know”).
The survey polled 2,096 Americans about their financial health, debt, and earnings for a new series, “The State of Our Money.” More than 670 respondents were millennials, defined as ages 23 to 38 in 2019.
That the majority of millennials think they earn less money than the rest of their cohort is reflective of the stagnant wages they’re experiencing. Americans ages 25 to 34 on average have seen incomes increase by just $US29 since 1974 when adjusted for inflation, according to a SuperMoney report that analysed US Census Bureau data. That year, they were earning an average of $US35,426. By 2017, that rose to a mere $US35,455.
Older millennials have it particularly hard. They graduated in the midst of the Great Recession and entered a tough job market; a delay in finding a job, or starting your first job with a low salary, can ultimately affect long-term earning potential.
Millennials think they have less debt than their peers
However, millennials are slightly more positive about their debt situation in comparison to their friends – 48% think they have less debt than their peers, while 35% think they have more. Seventeen per cent said they didn’t know.
They’re both right and wrong, according to additional survey findings.
Only about 28% of millennial respondents have a mortgage, so most millennials aren’t carrying the debt of homeownership. But of those who do have a mortgage, half owe more than $US100,000, while the other half owe less.
Most of those who have credit-card debt do owe less than their peers – more than half of the survey respondents with credit-card debt owe less than $US5,000. However, it’s worth noting that more than half of millennial respondents carry credit-card debt in the first place – so even if they owe little, they still owe more than those who don’t have credit-card debt at all.
Around 28% of millennial respondents have undergrad student-loan debt, meaning the majority aren’t faced with this burden. If millennials are reading anything about the student-debt situation, those who don’t have it are likely to think they have less debt than the rest of their generation. The same is probably true for those who do have student-loan debt, but owe less than the nearly $US30,000 average.