Men earn £12,500 less in 20s than generation before, research shows

young entrepreuner

Young men today will earn £12,500 less in their 20s than the generation before them, according to a thinktank, partly as a result of taking on low-paid jobs previously done by women.

Torsten Bell, the director of the Resolution Foundation, will argue that evidence showing Generation Y, also known as millennials, earn less than their Generation X predecessors in every year between 22 and 30 was a blow to the idea that each age group should be better off than the last.

The Guardian reports that in a lecture in Manchester on Thursday, Bell will show that women have adapted better to changes in the workplace brought on by automation in the past 25 years. Women have responded to the loss of secretarial jobs by moving into higher-skilled posts, whereas many of the men who lost manufacturing roles have ended up in lower-skilled and lower-paid occupations.

The foundation, which concentrates on issues affecting those on low and middle incomes, has set up an intergenerational commission to look at whether millennials, whom it defines as those born between 1981 and 2000, are getting a fair deal.

The thinktank’s research shows that millennial men are doing worse than those from Generation X, which it defines as those born between 1966 and 1980. The proportion of low-paid work done by young men increased by 45% between 1993 and 2015-16, in part a result of the number of young men in retail jobs rising from 85,000 to 165,000.

Women are still significantly more likely to work in retail than men, but the number of young women employed in the sector has fallen since the early 1990s. The number of young men working in bars and restaurants has gone up from 45,000 to 130,000 since 1993.

Bell will say the stunted pay progress for young men has been exacerbated by an increase in part-time work. The foundation’s analysis shows that since 1993, the number of men aged 22-35 working part time in the lowest-paid occupations (basic administration, service and sales) has increased four-fold, while the number of young women working part time in these jobs has fallen.

“The long-held belief that each generation should do better than the last is under threat. Millennials today are the first to earn less than their predecessors. While that in part reflects their misfortune to come of age in the midst of a huge financial crisis, there are wider economic forces that have seen young men in particular slide back,” he will say.

“The fact that young women have bucked this trend by moving overwhelmingly into higher-skilled roles is welcome, and suggests that the disruptive force of automation has met its match in the forward march of education and feminism.

“But if the past year has taught us anything, it is that we need to look beyond the headlines of rising employment to recognise the challenges posed to groups of workers that are left behind. Policymakers need to recognise the frustration that can follow from finding that Britain does not have the opportunities you had hoped, or indeed seen previous generations enjoy.”