Gen-Y has the worst unemployment. Boomers have the least time to recover their lost savings before heading into retirement. Gen-Xers are in the doldrums, stuck between paying off debt in a stagnant economy and taking more on. But who’s had the worst recession?
Millennials will point to the long-term effects these downturns can have on recent graduates—as lower starting salaries beget two-tiered wage systems, downsized pensions and possibly even shorter life-spans. But then again, millennials have their whole lives to make up lost wages. It’s the boomers (they’ll argue) who’ve been hit worst; they took massive hits to their 401(k)s and nest eggs just as they needed them most. And what about the 46 million Americans in the 33-46 year-old range? In the prime of their careers, they now find few promotions or options in sight—both exacerbated by boomers lingering in their jobs. There’s no clear winner in sight and arguments to be made for each. Patt takes a look at employment, income and overall wealth.
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Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic and author of “Who’s Had the Worst Recession: Boomers, Millennials, or Gen-Xers?”