The Lost Generation: How The Crisis Crippled the Young

Ten years on from the financial crisis, a generation is still bearing consequences from which they will likely never recover.

The UK’s recovery from the 2008 crash has been slow. Over a decade on and only now are growth prospects beginning to pick up after years of lethargy. However, while the rest of the country dusts itself off, new research shows that a lost generation of young people still face significant scarring effects that they are unlikely to ever recover from.

Millennials who left education during the height of the crisis are more likely to be unemployed, paid less or facing more uncertain job prospects than those who began working either before or after the crash. Low-skilled workers in particular are blighted by high unemployment, a trend which has persisted over the last decade.

The 2008 meltdown was particularly grievous for young adults, because there was no way to redeem debts incurred on things like education, cars and credit cards. Because none of this debt financed the kind of assets that have appreciated rapidly over the last few years, such as stocks, shares and property, millennials missed out on the wealth boost enjoyed by older generations.

The above have left this ‘crisis cohort’ bearing the brunt of a wealth gap which economists predict will probably never be diminished. It’s also left them more sceptical of government, more politically active and more concerned about the future.

The home ownership rate among millennials is also a whopping 8% lower than baby boomers and 8.4% lower than gen xers, with an estimated 40% of millennials likely to stay in rented accommodation for the duration of their lives. These pressures are now particularly harmful, as many of this generation are looking to settle down and start families.

While, in many ways, the millennial generation has been instrumental in helping to rebuild the British economy in the wake of the crash, it’s looking as though this may well have come at the expense of their own prospects, opportunities and futures.


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