A study commissioned by Deloitte finds "the vast majority of consumers are under tremendous financial pressure," per Kasey M. Lobaugh, the study's lead author, who tells the Washington Post that this applies to two demographics in particular—low-income Americans and millennials. And he puts a number on the average net worth of the latter group, which for the study's purposes includes those ages 18 to 35: a mere $8,000, a 34% drop for that age group since 1996. The study notes today's high costs in education, health care, housing, transportation, and food are soaking millennials' wallets, as well as additional costs that previous generations didn't have to contend with, like those for smartphones and data plans.
This syncs up with a Wall Street Journal article from earlier this month, with an even more dire prognosis from that paper, stating millennials are in "worse financial shape than every preceding living generation and may never recover." Data cited by the Journal indicates that, in addition to less wealth than their Generation X and baby boomer counterparts, millennials also boast less property and fewer kids and are more often putting off marriage. Per Business Insider, millennials not having that much money to spend is why certain industries are now suffering—not because the group is markedly different from previous generations in what they spend money on. One bright spot, a Fed economist tells the Journal: The job market now, at a time when millennials are coming into their prime earning years, is "so much better, so much stronger than it was 10 years ago. That's a huge benefit." (Read more millennials stories.)