A former CNN and CNBC anchor who reports extensively on Generation Y—Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s and who are now entering the job and home-buying market—calls this cohort “a true lost generation” that could cause the country’s next financial bubble to burst.
“The numbers are scary,” Nicole Lapin told Multifamily Executive, a sister publication to ProSales. “The number of young people looking for jobs is higher than ever: The unemployment rate for young people is currently upward of 20%. Student debt now totals up to $550 billion—a significant part of the nation’s debt. College costs have risen 1,000% in the past 30 years, outpacing health care, which has risen 700%, and inflation, which has risen “only” 300%. The minimum wage in the last 10 years has increased negligibly compared with the increase of student debt, which has risen a whopping 511% just since 1999.”
Lapin, now CEO of a multimedia company that creates accessible financial content across multiple platforms, says previous generations used to be able to boost their net worth by putting a down-payment on a house or apartment, but today’s market makes renting a better choice.