Are Millennials Hurting?

One of the biggest worries some people for the stock market is that baby boomers retiring will take money out of the stock market causing valuations to fall from their current lofty heights. Obviously, the next generation will put money into stocks eventually, but in the next few years there will be an increase in retirees, which means a larger than usual amount of capital will move from stocks to bonds or other safe investments. The chart below shows the next generation won’t be able to put the same amount of money in the market for retirement as the previous one. As you can see, the big difference between the baby boomers and the silent generation is that less baby boomers were in the armed forces. The difference between the baby boomers and generation x is that less were in the military, less were unemployed, and more weren’t in the labor force.

These are all relatively small changes compared to the big shift in the labor market for millennials which is the big decline in the percentage of 18-33 year olds who are employed. The people moved from the labor market to being unemployed and not in the labor force. This giant increase in the “not in the labor force” group makes America look like Greece as there’s a big decline in the number of tax payers as the underground economy flourishes. The millennial generation is on track to becoming the most educated generation ever in terms of the percentage of kids going to college. However, they can’t find jobs as the manufacturing jobs are long gone. The next entry level job to go by the wayside is restaurant servers. A computer can easily replace them which would make it tougher on the next generation. The less employment, the less money which gets put into retirements which are the principle way people get exposure to the stock market. There are apps that millennials use to save a few dollars which go into ETFs, but that’s nothing compared to the money baby boomers have.

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