Many, many freelancers and solo entrepreneurs are in their twenties and thirties. Unlike in previous generations, younger workers have much lower expectations of long-term employment and a nice home in the future. Now, a new study from Ernst and Young and the Economic Innovation Group explains just how bad it is.
Millennial Panic: It Really Is That Bad
In 2010, 18% of millennials were unemployed. Although things are better now, the state of the economy for folks in their twenties and thirties is…. Kind of difficult.
Growing up during a historic economic downturn had some bad side effects–30% of survey respondents live with their parents (and 40% of single respondents!), one-third say their town or city is still in a recession, 74% worry they can’t pay their healthcare bills if they have an illness, and 79% worry they will not have enough money to live on for retirement.
There’s also the dual-edged blade of student loan debt. 52% of the millennials Ernst and Young spoke with have either taken on student loans or expect to borrow student loans in order to pay for college. However, 43% also said the cost of paying back their student loan–those difficult monthly payments–have limited their possible options for a career.
Quiet Desperation For Millennials
According to the survey’s results (which are pretty depressing!), the bulk of millennials live in a state of more-or-less quiet desparation.
Only 6% of the millennials Ernst and Young spoke with (and only 3% of the women) said they were making a lot more money than the amount needed to cover basic expenses. 30% said they couldn’t even make enough to pay basic expenses, and a majority said they wouldn’t be able to come up with $500 in the event of an emergency.
42% of respondents also say they wouldn’t have money on hand to start their own business, even if they wanted to.
Worse Off Than Their Parents
One of the most surprising results from the survey was that most respondents thought they’d have less money and lower living standards than their parents. Most importantly, respondents say they have difficulty becoming financially independent and are doubtful they’ll be better off financially than their parents.
54% say their standard of living will be worse than their parents.
The survey involved online and mobile phone polls of 1200 American 18-34 year olds.