Millennials (born 1981-2004) are now America’s largest demographic group with over 85 million. Every generation has had its own challenges but Millennials are facing a unique set unlike any other.
1.Millennials are the most highly educated generation in history. This sounds exciting, but with the supply of educated workers much higher than the demand in the workforce, it created a perfect storm of unemployment & underemployment, a frustrating beginning to their careers. A large percentage of Millennial women work with a much better education than past generations,but many men stay home with kids; 56% are even working jobs that have nothing to do with their educational level.
2) Are technologically immersed and savvy. This is the age group producing apps and inventing FB and Instagram and other amazing innovations. But the geekiness causes them to be less personally involved and more self-involved. They were promised by their parents and teachers all kinds of great things but they just are not seeing them materialize.Some of them think they can “just Google it” about ANY-thing. Many are too dependent on technology rather than human interaction.
3) Are financially stressed- With a 40% unemployment rate,its no wonder. “The job hunt has become the Millennial version of the Hunger Games – without the cameras or interaction with Jennifer Lawrence.” Paul Angone “There are the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than any other generation at the same stage of life.” Pew Research-For the first time in modern history,this group the last 8-10 years has had stagnant or lowered wages. They were told it wouldn’t happen if they would just get a college education but 40% can;t even find a job. In addition,degreed immigrants w/H1b visas are applying for and getting many of their jobs,because companies can pay them much less.
4)Debt-The average college debt for a Millennial is $33,000 with the median household income remaining the same since 1999.They are carrying 1.3T in student loan debt,due to greater education for longer times;So when you take this college debt coupled with the longest stretch of income stagnation in the modern era, its no wonder why 35% ( highest percentage ever) are moving back in with their parents.
5) Huge sense of personal disappointment&disillusionment- Due to the long delay in this generation “getting started”, they wait 8 years on average to get married or have kids.All of these factors plus watching people they have looked up to in media,entertainment sports and politics all fail them. These delays and disappointments lead to:
6) The highest levels of clinical anxiety, stress, and depression than any other generation at the same age. (Psychology Today) And there’s real repercussions to this reality like this scary statistic: “The suicide rate among young adults has tripled since the 1950s and suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among college students.”
While these immense challenges are unique in many ways to any generation, there is a specific calling for each generation.(Acts 13:36) In demographic generational studies,they have determined that generations repeat a specific archetype in history every four generations. They call them: HERO, ARTIST, PROPHET, NOMAD. Millennials are the HERO generation.
It is Interesting that the themes of so many movies,TV and games since their birth is filled with superheroes in shows like Hunger Games, Heroes, Superman,Call of Duty, X-Men,Batman,Avengers,etc.The sensitive creative ones have picked up on the calling of this group and are telling stories with the HERO themes.
They have endured long periods of waiting for things that others before them got “out of the gate.” I believe this generation is not here by accident,is being prepared for their assignments by their perseverance and it appears this generation may literally “save the world” in a way we may not be able to fathom just as the G I generation did.
“And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3
(to be continued….)
Pastor Marc Lawson
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