Inequality among 18- to 29-year-olds in New York has grown, according to the report issued by Comptroller Scott Stringer's office. Fewer young adults are working in high-wage industries, but those who do work in those industries are earning even more. In 2000, about 14 percent of young New Yorkers worked in finance, earning about 77 percent more than average for their age group. Now they make about 115 percent more than average, and their numbers have shrunk to about 10 percent of their cohort.
Some of these young New Yorkers are doing much better than their cohorts elsewhere in the country. About three percent of U.S. millennials, defined in the report as those born between 1985 and 1996, live in New York, but the city also counts among its residents about 12 percent of all millennials making at least six-figure incomes.
For most young adults in the city, though, incomes have declined. A typical 25-year-old made $43,000 in New York in 2000, adjusting for inflation. In 2014, a 25-year-old in the city could expect to make about $37,000.
Despite the fact that millennials in New York are better educated than they were in 2000, more of them are working in low-wage industries such as retail and hospitality.
The share of all young New Yorkers with at least a bachelor's degree has increased from 36 percent in 2000 to 47 percent in 2014, while the share working in low-wage industries also increased, from 43 percent to 47 percent. The percentage of workers in these industries with a bachelor's degree rose from 23 percent to 33 percent over the same period.
These figures suggest that the increase in inequality among young adults in New York isn't just a result of the fact that some lack education, the report's authors note, but a consequence of broader changes in the structure of the American economy.
Since they're better educated than young Americans in general, young adults in New York might be better off over the long term. Data from the Census show that just about 32 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 had at least a bachelor's degree in 2014. At least for now, though, indicators suggest New York's economy is particularly challenging for millennials.
The unemployment rate among millennial workers has generally been higher in New York than in the rest of the country since 2012. At the end of 2015, 9.1 percent of millennials in New York were unemployed, compared with under eight percent nationally.
Not counting the unemployed, there are also more young adults in New York who aren't working, looking for work or attending school than in many other major cities. This group includes about 10.1 percent of millennials in New York, compared with 7.7 percent in Los Angeles, 8.6 percent in Chicago and 8.3 percent in the country as a whole.
Since 2000, young New Yorkers have become more likely to live with family. In that year, about 40 percent lived with their parents compared to 45 percent in 2014. The change was even greater nationwide: About 32 percent of all 18- to 29-year-olds lived with their parents in 2000, compared to more than 41 percent in 2014 -- showing that wherever they live, young people are having a hard time getting a start on life in the modern American economy.
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