Acumen Insights

Millennials Highly Educated but Struggling with Low Wages and Debt

By February 16, 2017 No Comments

According to research by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), Millennials are a highly educated demographic group. Approximately 21 percent of millennial males have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 18 percent of Gen X males. Further, 27 percent of millennial females have earned this degree, whereas 20 percent of Gen X females have.

Despite these higher levels of education, Millennials are bringing in less income and suffering higher levels of unemployment than other generations. The millennial household income at ages 18-33 is also less ($61,003) than Gen X when they were the same age ($63,265).  At this age, 78 percent of Gen X males were employed compared to only 68 percent of millennial males today. About 69 percent of Gen X females were employed at that age, whereas 63 percent of millennials females are.

Millennials are highly concerned about their debt. When asked if they were worried about being able to afford to pay back their student loans, 59 percent said they were really worried or somewhat worried. Only 36 percent said they were not worried or only somewhat worried. Of full-time, part-time, student, and non-working Millennials, students expressed the most concern in terms of paying off their student loans. Specifically, 72 percent of millennial students said they were really worried or somewhat worried about paying back debt. Approximately 56 percent of full-time, 57 percent of part-time, and 53 percent of non-working Millennials reported feeling this way.