Whoopi Goldberg blames millennials’ work ethic for their money problems, but new research shows they still bear ‘economic scars’ from the Financial Crisis

Whoopi Goldberg recently asserted that Millennials' financial struggles are attributed to their work ethic, suggesting that they seek to work only four-hour days and do not exert the same level of effort as her generation. Despite Goldberg's comments, new research from the Resolution Foundation indicates that Millennials in the U.K. are facing greater financial challenges than their parents. The Foundation's annual intergenerational audit found that Millennials, defined as those born between 1981 and 2000, are still grappling with the long-term economic impact of the 2008 financial crisis.

Traditionally, younger individuals earn more on average than their parents did at the same stage in life. However, according to the research, this pattern has been disrupted for the first time since records began. The report highlights that Millennials born in the late 1980s earned, on average, 8% less at age 30 than members of the previous generation at the same age, showcasing a lack of income progression over the decade following the financial crisis. The research also indicates that individuals in the U.K. born in the late 1980s and early 1990s are earning no more than those born in the 1970s at the same age.

While American Millennials are faring better financially than their U.K. counterparts, both groups have been impacted by the 2008 financial crash. The report acknowledges that despite the challenges, American Millennials are beginning to narrow the wealth deficit they faced compared to previous generations, particularly the older segment of the Millennial cohort.

The research also stresses that homeownership remains a significant challenge for Millennials in both the U.K. and the U.S. Despite statements attributing this struggle to a lack of work ethic, it is evident that broader economic factors, such as wage growth lagging behind the real estate market, significantly impact Millennials' ability to own homes. Furthermore, housing affordability has worsened in recent years, surpassing the levels seen during the 2008 financial crash, further complicating Millennials' prospects for homeownership.  

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