Millennials Are The Most Educated, Yet Worst Paid, Generation

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Millennials today, although very well educated, make peanuts at work. What's behind the empty wallets?

The good thing about millennials today is that they are the most educated and tech-savvy generation in history. The bad news: They are being underpaid.

In fact, a recent alarming revelation by the Center For American Progress states that 30-year-olds today make about as much, on average, as 30-year-olds did back in 1984, “despite the fact that they are 50 percent more likely to have finished college and that they work in an economy that is 70 percent more productive.”

Young adults should logically be among the higher earners: They are changing workplaces with advanced education and technological innovations. But their paychecks don't reflect those contributions.

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Education

30-year-olds saw a decrease in pay growth from 1979 to 1994, an increase from 1996 to 2002, and another decline from 2002 up to 2014. The roller coast means that a 30-year-old today is earning the same money as the average 30-year-old back in 1979.

Research cite a stagnant economy, high unemployment and the constantly increasing student debt as the causes behind the low pay, despite today’s professional workforce and higher levels of education.

Also: Student Debt Will Force Millennials To Work Until They Are 75

Among these, the crushing load of student loan debt hinders millennials' ability both to maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle and to set some money aside for their future.

From 2004 to 2014, average student loan debt at graduation rose at an astounding 56 percent, according to a report. Students today leave college with an enormous amount of debt compared to 10 years ago.

Young people are at loss because they have no way out. Those without a college degree linger far behind the rest in workplace advancement and opportunities, and despite the rising level of debt, it’s still the best path to a job and decent pay.

The Center for American Progress notes that employers raise wages only when they are required to, which shouldn’t be the case. However, monetary policies and changes made to the labor law now make it easier for millennials to bargain their wages, and they should make the most of it.

Additionally, steps should be taken to ease the burden of student debt for those who have already graduated and provide less expensive college opportunities for the upcoming generation.

Read more: Most Americans Are Only $500 Away From Going Broke

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