NYC Recession Generation May Never Catch Up in Workplace

NEW YORK (Reuters) -

Young people who joined the New York City workforce during and after the 2007-2009 recession earn less than earlier generations, a disadvantage that could last their entire working lives, a report by city officials said.

Those joining the workforce during a recession can wind up in a lower paid and less prestigious job for years, according to the report from the city Comptroller’s office. The report blamed a national focus on reining in the deficit and “fiscal restraint” since 2010, which “imposed at great cost to the generation entering adulthood in the early years of the 21st Century.”

Constraints on these workers may not fade as future generations enter the workforce, with many potentially facing a “wrenching readjustment” to a new normal in which career opportunities are limited, the report said.

As a counterbalance, the report suggests policies that disproportionately benefit young people such as raising minimum wages, keeping public colleges affordable, cutting student debt, and creating more affordable housing.

“Every generation is expected to do better than the last, but too many millennials are not getting a fair chance to make it in New York City,” Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a statement.

Millennials earn an average of 20 percent less than earlier generations, or a decrease from about $56,000 in 2000 to $50,300 in 2014. The new reality is a bad fit for millennials who are the most educated in the city’s history.