In fact, Britain’s so-called millennial generation – those born from 1981 – have fallen victim to a long-term trend of chronic wage stagnation. Take a look at this chart:
- Oxford Economics / Resolution Foundation
It shows millennials are the first generation who have failed to improve upon >the living standards of the preceding “Generation X.”
That is an unprecedented break from the generational progress that defined the 20th century. The “Silent Generation” enjoyed consistently higher average wages than the preceding “Greatest Generation,” and “Generation X” incomes trended consistently above those of “Baby Boomers.” Millennial’s incomes, however, sit below the average income of Baby Boomers at the same ages.
To make matters worse, house prices have increased at a much faster rate than wage growth: the average house price rose in London rose from £79,000 in 1996 to its current £488,000 – a 518% increase.
Analysts at Oxford Economics said this could prompt Chancellor Philip Hammond to promote “millennial-friendly” policies when he announces next week’s Autumn Budget, including a freeze on stamp duty – a property purchase tax – and a freeze on fuel duty.
Hammond is reportedly also considering extending the 16-25 Railcard, which discounts all UK rail fares by a third, to those under 32.