They’ve had the worst economic luck in U.S. history. many Millennials will never recover.

After accounting for the present crisis, the average millennial has experienced slower economic growth since entering the workforce than any other generation in U.S. history.

Millennials will bear these economic scars the rest of their lives, in the form of lower earnings, lower wealth and delayed milestones, such as homeownership.

The losses are particularly acute on the jobs front. One brutal month of the coronavirus set the labor market back to the turn of the millennium. The last time there were about 131 million jobs was January 2000.

For millennials who came of age then, it’s as if all the plodding expansions and jobless recoveries of their namesake epoch evaporated in weeks.

The milestones will get even more dire in the next jobs report, but for now the economic regression back to Y2K is a fitting symbol for a generation that — more than any other — has been shaped by recession.


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