But for Millennials with some college or less, annual earnings were lower than their counterparts in prior generations.For example, Millennial workers with some college education reported making ,000, lower than the ,900 early Baby Boomer workers made at the same age in 1982.
(This analysis is in 2017 dollars and is adjusted for household size.
Additionally, household income includes the earnings of the young adult, as well as the income of anyone else living in the household.) The growing gap by education is even more apparent when looking at annual income.
Among Millennials, around four-in-ten (39%) of those ages 25 to 37 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with just 15% of the Silent Generation, roughly a quarter of Baby Boomers and about three-in-ten Gen Xers (29%) when they were the same age.
Gains in educational attainment have been especially steep for young women.
In 1966, when Silent Generation women were ages 22 through 37, a majority (58%) were participating in the labor force while 40% were employed.
For Millennial women today, 72% are employed while just a quarter are not in the labor force. As early as 1985, more young Boomer women were employed (66%) than were not in the labor force (28%).And Millennial women, like Generation X women, are more likely to participate in the nation’s workforce than prior generations.Compared with previous generations, Millennials – those ages 22 to 37 in 2018 – are delaying or foregoing marriage and have been somewhat slower in forming their own households.Millennial men are also better educated than their predecessors.About one-third of Millennial men (36%) have at least a bachelor’s degree, nearly double the share of Silent Generation men (19%) when they were ages 25 to 37.But this belies a notably large gap in earnings between Millennials who have a college education and those who don’t.Similarly, the household income trends for young adults markedly diverge by education.About half of both groups said they’d been with their employer for at least five years. While the Great Recession affected Americans broadly, it created a particularly challenging job market for Millennials entering the workforce.The unemployment rate was especially high for America’s youngest adults in the years just after the recession, a reality that would impact Millennials’ future earnings and wealth.While educational attainment has steadily increased for men and women over the past five decades, the share of Millennial women with a bachelor’s degree is now higher than that of men – a reversal from the Silent Generation and Boomers.Gen X women were the first to outpace men in terms of education, with a 3-percentage-point advantage over Gen X men in 2001.