Among adults the news isn’t good, either. And particularly not for those youngish-but-no-longer-young adults who came into this crisis already vulnerable, already fragile, already over-indebted and underpaid. The Millennials were left with scars during the Great Recession that never quite healed, and inherited an economy structured to manufacture precarity for the young and the poor and black and brown, and to perpetuate wealth for the old and the rich and white.For the most part, kids of the 1980s and 1990s did it right: They avoided drugs and alcohol as adolescents. They went to college in record numbers. They sought stable, meaningful jobs and stable, meaningful careers. A lot of good that did. Studies have shown that young workers entering the labor force in a recession—as millions of Millennials did—absorb large initial earnings losses that take years and years to fade. Every 1-percentage-point bump in the unemployment rate costs new graduates 7 percent of their earnings at the start of their careers, and 2 percent of their earnings nearly two decades later. The effects are particularly acute for workers with less educational attainment; those who are least advantaged to begin with are consigned to permanently lower wages.
For Millennials, it feels like there is never any good news at all.