At the beginning of their working lives they faced the global financial crisis of 2008, now they are experiencing the great collapse of the world economy
“Not even in my dreams I can buy a house, I can barely pay the rent for a room in a shared apartment,” says 32-year-old María Arroyo. In Mexico, millennials, the generation that was born in the eighties and the first part of the nineties, are well aware of economic crises, since they grew up between the fall in oil prices, the increase in foreign debt, and the devaluation of the currency against the dollar.
At the beginning of their working lives, they faced the global financial crisis of 2008, and now, in their time of greatest productivity, they are experiencing the great collapse of the world economy.
“ It is a generation that lives in a precarious way, in debt and without the ability to build a heritage. They cannot improve in social terms, because the conditions do not exist ”, comments to DW Dr. Carlos A. Jiménez Bandala, a specialist in Organizational Studies from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico. The millennial generation, or generation Y, lives with red numbers and without reservations to face any emergency. According to the credit repair company Solve your debt, 63% of young people do not have a savings fund, and 68% have a debt. For what is expected to reach the end of the pandemic over-indebted.
Many millennials began their working careers in the crisis of 2008. Since then they have not been able to reverse the economic deficiencies, and specialists indicate that these conditions will only worsen in the course of their lives. In this regard, the Petras Report reveals that the current generation will be the first to have a worse quality of life than its predecessors, and the same awaits the youngest.
Cohousing: a new form of overcrowding
The dream of working in a company to buy a house is unthinkable for current generations. The economic uncertainty brought about by the pandemic has even forced young people to vacate the rooms they rented and return to their parents’ home. According to figures from the virtual community Dada Room, in Mexico City, one in five young people returned home, and others chose to share spaces with more people. There are even couples who live with strangers in order to pay for expenses.
The idea has become popular that young generations prefer to live in community, and that they are not interested in investing in their wealth. Professor Jiménez Bandala argues that, on the contrary, the low income of millennials leaves them without the possibility of acquiring a home. “In Mexico City, only 1% of young people are subject to a mortgage loan in relation to their income. Censuses show that people live overcrowded under the concept of cohousing, and some manage to buy, but in peripheral municipalities to the city, and travel up to three hours to get to work ”.
The poverty trap
Young people in Mexico believe that there are no possibilities for social improvement, which confirms a study carried out by the Colegio de México. This reveals that only 2% of people living in poverty can climb socially. This generates discouragement and despair in society, because every time a university student does not get a job or has a precarious job, the family members think that it makes no sense to follow the same path. “This is called the poverty trap: people no longer believe in an educational or work project, which becomes a vicious circle. We did a field study in marginalized communities in the country, and what we observed was that organized crime patrols these areas, and identifies young people with leadership, recruit them, and pays them large amounts. For young people, that is the way to support the family ”, comments researcher Jiménez Bandala who fears that this practice will spread to the rest of the country.