Millennials Have Had the Worst Economic Luck of Any Generation in U.S. History

They say millennials have killed everything from the diamond industry to drip coffee. Now, a new study says it’s millennials who are getting killed by the economy. “After accounting for the present [coronavirus] crisis, the average millennial has experienced slower economic growth since entering the workforce than any other generation in U.S. history,” The Washington Post reported Wednesday. Measuring America’s growth in economic output since the early 1800s, millennials’ time in the workforce since they turned 18 has been the least productive ever–worse, even, than during the Civil War. In addition, WaPo notes, “At the beginning of 2019, millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. full-time workforce, surpassing Gen X. But the coronavirus crisis walloped millennials so disproportionately that they’re probably giving the top generational spot back to Gen X in the next month or two.” Research also shows that the Great Recession that began in 2008 pushed young workers a few steps down the wage ladder–and that they never recovered, even as their older colleagues regained the ground they’d lost. American University economist Gray Kimbrough says about the current recession brought on by the pandemic, “The story here is not just that it’s a bad recession, and that it’s hitting young people more, but that it’s hitting people who have already been hit.”