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Will Younger Generations Be Hit Hardest By The Coronavirus Recession?

People stand in line to enter a grocery store in Washington, DC.
People stand in line to enter a grocery store in Washington, DC.

Millennials entered the job market during the 2008 recession. Compared to older generations, millennials are more likely to be stuck in low-benefit, lower-paid jobs and burdened with debt. About 62 percent of millennials lived paycheck to paycheck last year. Now, younger workers are heading into an economic crisis unlike anything seen since the Great Depression.

Companies around the country are pulling job listings, cutting costs, furloughing or laying off current employees, rescinding job offers in order to stay afloat. And millennials and Gen Z appear to be bearing the brunt of the pain. A recent study found that 52 percent of people under the age of 45 have lost a job, been put on leave, or had their hours reduced due to the pandemic, compared with 26 percent of people over the age of 45.

Annie Lowrey writes in The Atlantic about the impact this will have on millennials:

They are now entering their peak earning years in the midst of an economic cataclysm more severe than the Great Recession, near guaranteeing that they will be the first generation in modern American history to end up poorer than their parents.

How will a pandemic-fueled recession affect generations differently? How can young people cope financially and plan for the future?

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Haili Blassingame