14 Bleak Economic Facts That Will Enrage Every 20-Something

The horror, the horror.

1. First of all, you graduated during the worst recession in a century.

It will end, eventually. But, on average, graduating in a recession reduces your pay for around a decade. Finished university in 2006? Your younger peers hate you.

2. You’re less likely to have a job.

ONS

In most recessions, old people suffer more, because they lose their jobs. This time, companies mostly didn’t sack people; instead, they stopped hiring. So young people lost out. In 2004, 67% of 18- to 24-year-olds were in work and 10% were unemployed. By 2013, 57% were in work and 19% unemployed.

3. If you do have a job, it will probably be as a waiter.

Last year, 35% of graduates were working in “unskilled jobs”. Still, it’s that or recruitment. Recruiting ever more recruitment consultants.

4. You won’t be well paid.

For the first time in a century, people in their mid-20s today are worse off than people born 10 years earlier were when they were the same age. Oh, and note that the data represented on this graph is “before housing costs” - more on that later.

5. Prices go up faster for you than for your parents.

The sorts of things you buy (drinks, nightclub entry, ready meals) are going up in price faster than the sorts of things older people buy (new cars).

6. That’s mostly because tuition fees are going up faster.

The inflation rate is higher for young people largely because the cost of university keeps going up. At this rate, it’ll be £27,000 per year by 2017.

7. But your rent seems to go up quite a lot every year too.

ONS

What are you doing reading this? You should be desperately refreshing SpareRoom.com to find that perfect windowless closet just half an hour walk from the nearest bus stop for £700 per month.

8. And you will never be able to afford to buy a house.

The Germans can afford to buy homes. Perhaps we should all move to Germany.

9. Old people: they own all of the homes.

Good luck prying them out of their enormous mansions.

10. In fact, you may as well still live at home.

Via ONS

That’s roughly one in three men and one in six women aged 20-34 still living with their parents. The future is Italian: there, men tend not to leave home until their 30s. Girls: get used to your boyfriend’s mother.

11. So true love will have to wait.

Via ONS

The average marrying age keeps going up and up. That said, you will still have to go to millions of weddings, each of which will require you to spend £200 on a gift and another £500 on an awful stag night in Prague.

12. You can’t even afford to be reckless and irresponsible.

Drug taking is down. The government says that this is the result of their excellent policing. More likely, it is because you live at home and have no money.

13. Your parents retire soon (which means that you get to pay their pensions).

The population is ageing, and the younger generation will have to foot the bill. Every extra pensioner is also one less taxpayer. If you think the government cuts now are bad, just wait for what’s coming.

14. And you will never retire.

Admittedly, retirement hasn’t been abolished quite yet - but just wait: David Cameron is definitely keen on the idea.

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