Thursday, August 25, 2016
Why Millennials, by the Numbers, Can't & Won't Grow the US Out of Trouble
But to understand the impact of the two different generations, the chart below shows the total population growth during each generations time. Clearly, the Boomers represented an increase of the 15-34yr/old population of 33 million (a 40% increase of the 15-34yr/old population) vs. the Millenials 9 million (a 10% increase in the 15-34yr/old population).
Based on the generations relative population growth vs. the total population, the Boomers added an average 0.8%/yr (nearly 1% annually) vs. the Millenials which added 0.15%/yr (just above 0.1% annually)...or about 1/8th the impact the Boomers had on growth.
Comparing the "quality" of the Boomers vs. the Millennials has nothing to do with them as people but instead their impact upon growth. Full time jobs growth over the past decade has been anemic compared to the Boomers period. Likewise low wage growth, high student debt loads, low marital rates, low birth rates...all these things and so many more impact the Millenials inability to "grow" or increase consumption (aka, GDP growth) as their predecessor generations had. Comparatively, Millennials buy fewer cars, fewer homes, and aside from smart phones, seem to be trending down across the consumption spectrum vs. their predecessors. They face record asset valuations, record rents and rent to income ratios, I think this is well worn ground so I won't dwell here but the chart below highlights the slowing growth in full time jobs, rising reliance on "financialization" (Fed's balance sheet, interest rate cuts, etc.), and the impact on asset valuations represented by the Russell 3000 (The Russell 3000 Index measures the performance of the largest 3,000 U.S. companies representing approximately 98% of the investable U.S. equity market).