Millennials face one of the toughest economic landscapes of any generation since World War II: they are working for relatively low pay and, for college graduates, they’re saddled with an average of some $30,000 in student debt.
But now, they are about to confront yet another challenge — robots. Millennials will be the first generation to absorb the full impact of the new age of automation, which, if history is a teacher, will wipe out jobs faster than the economy can create new ones.
What’s happening: Millennials came of age during the Great Recession. Since then, three-quarters of all new U.S. jobs have paid less than a middle-class income, according to Labor Department data.
These minimum- or lower-wage jobs are the ones that millennials — ages 23 to 38, born between 1981 and 1996, and the largest generation in the country — are often taking. Unlike prior generations, there may not be much of a ladder up from there. Part of that is economics — tech and globalization have hollowed out middle-skill, middle-wage jobs. And part of it is the continued aftermath of the financial crash.