For some millennials, the economic fallout from the pandemic has a familiar feeling to it. A lot of them graduated into the 2008 recession, which was the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. They faced slim job prospects and years of depressed wages, while student debt and ballooning housing costs ate up more of their incomes.
Now more than a decade later, millennials are supposed to be entering their prime earning years. That means buying homes and gaining financial security. But they’ll have to do it amid a second once-in-a-lifetime economic collapse. Economists say this one could be even worse than the one they’re still recovering from.
“Millennials will be the first generation in modern American history that will end up poorer than their parents, and that’s just a fortuity of timing,” says Annie Lowrey, staff writer at The Atlantic covering economic policy.