Wall Street Journal columnist on why pandemic will have lasting impact on millennials

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Wall Street Journal columnist Jerry Seib said on Tuesday that millennials will be more economically damaged than most people by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I felt like we finally caught up with the professional track we were supposed to be on, the life track we were supposed to be on and now this has hit and they’re hit harder economically than anybody else,” Seib told "America's Newsroom," referencing millennials who graduated college during the 2009 depression.

Seib also told anchor “America’s Newsroom” Sandra Smith that he spoke with millennials in 2017-2018 who said that they had finally caught up with the economy after being hit by the depression in 2009, the year they were coming out of college with a disadvantage.


Seib explained the idea further in his Wall Street Journal op-ed "Coronavirus Deepens Millennials’ Feeling They Can’t Get a Break," which addresses the current economic predicament of millennials during the coronavirus shutdown.

Seib wrote in the op-ed: “You walked into the worst recession since the Great Depression, which prevented you from moving onto the professional track you were promised. For a decade, you scratched and clawed to catch up, perhaps putting off getting married, buying a car, buying a house and having children along the way. By the beginning of this year, with the economy humming, you felt you finally caught up.”

“Then coronavirus struck. You and your friends, while less susceptible to the ravages of the virus itself, find you are the most likely to lose a job, wages and health insurance amid the crisis,” Seib wrote.


Seib said that the Wall Street Journal and NBC conducted a poll that surveyed young adults aged 18-34 on their economic position during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Of 18 percent of those people said they already lost their job. That’s more than any other age cohort so they’re not hit hardest by the virus itself but they’re probably hit hardest by the economic aftershock and that’s going to play out now probably for years to come for these people.”