WASHINGTON, April 23 (UPI) -- Generation Y, the U.S. group starting to enter their adult lives, face heavy debt and stagnant wages, a report says.
Demos, a public policy think tank, said the group appears likely to become the first U.S. generation in 100 years to do worse economically than their parents, USA Today reported. Many have already run up large credit card bills on top of student loans.
"I work at a part-time job, have incredible debt and get food stamps," said Kristen Ammerman, a senior at Michigan State. "I'm still short on rent every month. ... My friends all want the newest and best things. They spend money on them any chance they get."
While many in the group are unemployed or underemployed, they have an optimistic attitude that could hurt them in the long run, observers say. Fidelity Investments reports they average three credit cards each and one out of five owes at least $10,000 on them.
"They have high, unrealistic expectations, and many of them don't manage money very well," said Lee Jenkins, managing partner of Atlanta Capital Group in Atlanta.