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Millennials, Latinos Under 30 Years Old Are Dragged Down by Other Generations in New York City

First Posted: Apr 27, 2016 12:11 PM EDT
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Millennials can't catch a break in New York City, where they are out-earned, under-employed and burdened with more student debt than the Baby Boomer generation ever was.

An analysis released by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer on Wednesday highlights glaring disadvantages people born between 1985 and 1996 face in comparison to their parents. Those employed in 2014 earned about 20 percent less than they could have 14 years prior; due to the erosion of good-paying jobs, a 29 year old earning $56,000 in 2000 would earned about $6,000 less today.

These young adults are the city's most educated demographic -- 72 percent of 23-to-29-year olds have some college credit -- but many settle for jobs below their education and skill level.

"Millennials were applying for jobs in the most difficult economic climate since the Great Depression, and as a result, a growing number are now working in low-wage industries and earning less than predecessors," Stringer said in a press release accompanying the report.

Stringer added, "This group of young people is confronting unique economic challenges that their parents did not have to face. Every generation is expected to do better than the last, but too many Millennials are not getting a fair chance to make it in New York City."

Latino Unemployment Rate High

From the beginning of the latest century to 2014, Hispanics were the second-fastest growing ethnicity in New York City. Millennial Latinos grew to the city's largest racial/ethnic group in that span, to about 498,000, yet the unemployment rate remained high throughout, second only to African-Americans.

For Latinos, it reached a peak of 13.4 percent in 2011 before coming down to 9.3 percent three years later. It took seven years for rates to fall below pre-Great Recession ranges.

Researchers cite idleness, or periods without a job, as a driving factor of unemployment. Idleness means anything from attending school to taking care of family members to simply deciding not to work; anything discouraging an individual form working. Latinos, more than anyone except African-Americans, remain idle for long periods of time.

"The prevalence of idleness is far higher among young African Americans New Yorkers, and among young Hispanic New Yorkers," researchers wrote. "Although the prevalence of idleness dropped among each race/ethnicity group between 2000 and 2014, among the city's Black and Hispanic millennials the rate was still 13.7 percent in 2014, compared to 5.6 percent among Whites and 7.0 among Asians."

Fewer Millennials Still Living at Home

Young New Yorkers tend to live with their parents for as long as they can, but the proportion of those moving out increased over the last seven years, be it because they graduated college or just want to take advantage of an improved economy.

The share of millennials living at home dropped from 39 percent in 2007 to 41 percent in 2014. This, despite rising housing costs, renters under age-30 pay $1,400 per month on average, compared to $740 in the rest of the country.

That doesn't factor utilities, student debt or the cost of raising a family.

"This generation is at a crossroads," Stringer said. "They worked hard, got an education and then faced roadblocks to getting a good-paying job. It's time for us to pay attention to the largest generation in New York City, and start to break down those barriers."

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