The so-called millennial generation in the US is the focus of much media attention, much of it negative, decrying them as whiny, praise-seeking, self-absorbed, slaves to social network technology, and having a sense of entitlement. But a new survey finds that as they progress towards adulthood, they display many of the same characteristics as the generations that came before.
According to the study, before millennials have children they over-index on brands like Abercrombie, H&M, Apple, Macy’s and Sephora. After they become parents, those brands not only drop, some of them disappear from their consideration set. Instead, millennials shift to over-indexing against the entire U.S. population on brands like Dollar General, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart and Value City. About 44% of millennial parents are “very financially stressed.”
“These are not stereotypical millennial brands, and people are missing that,” said Mr. Gutting. “Millennials are not that different. We can’t keep going to marketing conferences talking about millennials as though they’re these oddities. They’re taking care of families now.” Only 7% of all millennial parents can be categorized as the millennial stereotype that focuses on name brands, stretches their incomes to the limit and are tech savvy.
But one difference stands out. As Michael Snyder shows with a sheaf of statistics, the younger generation is having a much tougher time finding jobs and making ends meet than their parents’ generation and that is disturbing.
Why are young people in America so frustrated these days? You are about to find out. Most young adults started out having faith in the system. They worked hard, they got good grades, they stayed out of trouble and many of them went on to college. But when their educations where over, they discovered that the good jobs that they had been promised were not waiting for them at the end of the rainbow. Even in the midst of this so-called “economic recovery”, the full-time employment rate for Americans under the age of 30 continues to fall. And incomes for that age group continue to fall as well. At the same time, young adults are dealing with record levels of student loan debt. As a result, more young Americans than ever are putting off getting married and having families, and more of them than ever are moving back in with their parents.
Rather than complaining about the millennials, we should be worried about them.