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The all too real reason why millennial women deserve to be angry

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Anna Brech
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Easily riled? New stats on the financial hit served to millennials back in 2008 suggests there’s good reason for Gen Y to fume…

Of all metaphorical punching bags the world currently favours, millennial habits are right there at the top.

“Generation me”, it seems, are to blame for everything from pretentious social media trends to the demise of mayonnaise. This is an age group with staggering form in entitlement, fake outrage and an inability to take a joke (or so the story goes).  

But perhaps millennials have real reason to be angry. Not just with the property ladder - a mere fantasy for most - but also for the frankly terrible hand dealt to them at the start of their careers.

A new report by the Resolution Foundation reveals that people who were in their 20s at the time of the financial crisis in 2008 were hardest hit by the resulting fallout on pay.

Research by the think tank shows that millennials, more than any other group, have been “scarred” by the crash, with their pay still 7% below where it stood at its pre-crisis peak. 

Unable to keep up with inflation, millennial salaries fell by 11% from 2009 to 2014. And even now, with inflation-adjusted pay coming into effect, millennials will still be worse off compared to younger and older generations.

The enduring salary hit from the recession means millennials in their 30s now face even greater pressure when it comes to things like home-buying and having children, says the report. 

And since the gender pay gap is still a glaring problem in the UK, we can assume that millennial women are hardest hit of all. 

Not only are they already paying heavily for the one most dangerous crises since the Great Depression of the 1930s. But they must also confront a series of extra hurdles on top of this, from boardroom prejudice to maternity discrimination and sky-high childcare costs. 

There *are* a few tiny positives from the report. Firstly, the authors recommend that if you want a higher salary, you should try changing jobs. 

People who did so in 2018 benefited from a real wage increase of 4.5%, compared to 0.5% if they stayed where they were.

And, secondly, the wage situation overall in the UK is now recovering - but there’s a catch.

“Whether this recovery continues to build momentum in 2019 will depend in large part on what happens with Brexit,” says economic analyst Nye Cominetti.

Feeling angry yet? Us too.

Images: Getty

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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