Inflation is picking up across Europe. This means incomes are probably on the rise as well.
For millennials – people born between 1982 and 2004 – rising incomes isn’t something you hear too often (how did our parents do it?). This coming of age generation is about to move into its prime spending years. Unfortunately, stable jobs aren’t as plentiful as they used to be. This has many young people re-evaluating just what it takes to be successful – or let’s be honest have a fatter wallet – in an increasingly globalized economy.
Perhaps surprisingly, millennials are increasingly drawn to populism, a sign that young people are growing tired of what they view as a broken system built by their elders.
In many parts of the Western world, including Europe, the disposable income of millennials is only slightly higher than what it was 30 years ago. The conventional wisdom that you need to pursue a higher education to earn the big bucks doesn’t appear to be paying off, and many young people are realizing this.
“The situation is tough for young people,” said Angel Gurría, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). “They were hit hard by the Great Recession, and their labour market situation has improved only little since.”
In the 28-member European Union, workers aged 18 to 24 can expect to earn a little less than €15,000 this year. For older workers in the 25 to 49-year bracket, an average annual income of around €17,000 can be expected. These figures run as high as €42,000 in Norway to as low as €2,500 in Serbia.
Regardless of where you are, you are likely competing against an increasingly globalized workforce. That’s why educators strongly recommend that young people specialize in high-demand industries that can ensure greater employability. For millennials in the EU, highly skilled jobs that intersect science, engineering, medicine, professional services and in-demand trades are the least likely to get outsourced to other parts of the world where labour costs are cheaper.
In today’s age, there’s no guarantee on how much money you can make. Although many young people are struggling to get their careers off the ground following the recession, there’s plenty of opportunity out there for self-starters!
The digital revolution has made it easier than ever for young people to become entrepreneurs. Launching your own business is as easy as starting a website, blog or freelancing profile.
We are inheriting an economy that is vastly different from the one our parents thought they were building for us. This environment is, in many ways, still untested. For millennials, this likely means even more growing pains on the path to success. But with the right attitude, mindset and knowledge of in-demand skills, they can begin to command any type of salary you want.
 Shane Savitsky (March 12, 2017). “The millennial surge fueling Europe’s right-wing populism.”
 Caelainn Barr and Shiv Malik (March 7, 2016). “Revealed: the 30-year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y’s income.” The Guardian.
 Eurostat. Mean and median income by age and sex – EU-SILC survey.