As research into income and wellbeing becomes increasingly nuanced, growing numbers of experts are also speculating that traditional symbols of wealth – such as owning a car or a house – are set to shift, as millennials in many countries become the first generation to earn relatively less than their parents and struggle to buy homes in tough property markets.
Though frustrating for millennials, “it may mean that this generation will show fewer of the negative effects of wealth such as selfishness, narcissism and a high sense of entitlement,” says Jetten.
A 2015 study of millennials from consulting firm Deloitte, showed that more than half of the participants surveyed felt that knowing more about their CEO’s experiences in managing work and life would have a positive impact on their feelings about their workplace.
The results show the need for executives to share more personal stories and communicate beyond just company strategy, especially for companies hoping to recruit and retain top, young talent, says Matthew Kohut, co-author of Compelling People, which looks at the qualities that make people influential.
“Warmth is the real distinguisher between who we trust and are loyal to,” says Chris Malone, managing partner at Fidelum Partners, a consulting firm that specialises in tracking customer loyalty. “But it doesn’t show up in transaction records.”
With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.
The analysis being released Friday gives concrete details about a troubling generational divide that helps to explain much of the anxiety that defined the 2016 election. Millennials have half the net worth of boomers. Their home ownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher.
Education does help boost incomes. But the median college-educated millennial with student debt is only earning slightly more than a baby boomer without a degree did in 1989.
Yet compared to white baby boomers, some white millennials appear stuck in a pattern of downward mobility. This group has seen their median income tumble more than 21 percent to $47,688.
Median income for black millennials has fallen just 1.4 percent to $27,892. Latino millennials earn nearly 29 percent more than their boomer predecessors to $30,436.
The analysis fits into a broader pattern of diminished opportunity. Research last year by economists led by Stanford University’s Raj Chetty found that people born in 1950 had a 79 percent chance of making more money than their parents. That figure steadily slipped over the past several decades, such that those born in 1980 had just a 50 percent chance of out-earning their parents.
This decline has occurred even though younger Americans are increasingly college-educated. The proportion of 25 to 29 year-olds with a college degree has risen to 35.6 percent in 2015 from 23.2 percent in 1990, a report this month by the Brookings Institution noted.