Low wages, few jobs and no homes… young Brits are among the worst off in Europe – but what's it really like for UK millennials?

MILLENNIALS are much maligned for being the lazy, entitled, avocado-munching generation.

They're frequently told to stop frittering their money on cafe brunches and just grow up – but what if they can't?

They can't afford to buy a house, get married or have a baby, the traditional markers of adulthood – and they're furious that they're worse off than their parents.

What's more, British adults are facing the second most severe wage cuts in all of Europe, with only Greece lagging behind them.

The findings by the Resolution Foundation think tank show that not only do UK millennials face higher house prices and lower pay than the previous baby boomer generation, but average hourly earnings for under-30s in Britain plunged by 13 per cent between 2007 and 2014, doubling the pay squeeze compared to those in their 50s.

Meanwhile, UK home ownership rates have plummeted faster than elsewhere and the house price to wage ratio is ranked third worst among developed countries.

Young people are now spending three times the amount on housing than their post-war predecessors and the average age at which they're able to finally get on the property ladder is now 31 – four years later than the average Baby Boomer.

This wouldn't be the end of the world if salaries were soaring up at an equivalent rate, but the median price paid for a home rose 259 per cent between 1997 and 2016, while earnings crept up by just 68 per cent.

The ONS notes that this is forcing millennials to wait longer than any other generation before they start their own family, with the average age of UK first-time mothers now at 28.6.

And those young families then face a desperate struggle to pay for childcare, with costs soaring by 48 per cent since 2008 – while real-terms wages have actually fallen.

A Resolution Foundation spokesman said: “Generation-on-generation progress has been all but wiped out for millennials whose home ownership rate in their late 20s, at 33 per cent, is half that for the baby boomers at the same age (60 per cent).”

Meanwhile, the vice-chancellor of Bristol University – hit by seven student suicides within the past 18 months – says youngsters are often worried about student debt and political turmoil.

Here, Sun Online meets the millennials who say young people have never had it so bad…

'I'll be paying off my student debt for another 65 years'

Hannah Walker, 26, a primary school teacher from Sutton, Surrey, says she currently owes £52,000 in loans and fees.

"I graduated from university with a degree in history and completed my PGCE teaching qualification in 2015.

I needed an undergraduate degree to complete my PGCE, which cost £9,000 in tuition fees alone.

Every year I receive a letter informing me how much I owe student finance – currently about £52,000.

I pay back £62 each month which includes £50 interest out of my payslip automatically.

But I feel like however hard I try to pay off my student debt I'm not making a dent. It's really demoralising and it means I will be paying back my fees until I'm at least 90.

Honestly, I do not understand how they can justify charging students this much money- which they will realistically never see again unless you suddenly come into a big sum.

I'm in the process of buying a house with my boyfriend who works in recruitment – but I wouldn't be able to do it alone.

Teaching is actually one of the better paid graduate roles, especially for the starting salary. Most of my friends who went to uni are currently paid less than me."

'I'm priced out of the housing market and forced to blow £900 per month on rent – it's heartbreaking'

Lizzie Mead, 29, who runs a design company with her boyfriend Andrew, 33, in Northampton, says it "heartbreaking" they can't get on the property ladder.

"I pay £900 a month to rent a three-bed house with my boyfriend and his two young children in Northampton.

It is heartbreaking being 29 and not being able to get on the property ladder.

So many of my friends are in the same position.

We are professional, hard-working nearly 30-year-olds and we just simply don’t have the capital to buy a house.

The cost of rent, food, electricity, transport and daily living is eating into our incomes.

For me, reinvesting everything I earn back into my business is essential, but even that can be a struggle with the current cost of living.

I should not be nearly 30 and have no tangible investment for my future.

When my parents saved for their first mortgage, they ate porridge for five months.

It only took them five months to save up a deposit in the 1970s.

For me? Who knows. It will be years, based on my current income and any money I earn going straight into simply supporting my family through daily life, or being re-invested in my business.

Of course, I’m still holding out hope for a lottery win!

We have had to cut back on gym memberships, sports clubs that we used to be part of, going out with friends, going out for dinner.

We cancelled Sky because it was eating £60 per month that could have been used to save. We eat basic food, sleep and work.

I honestly don’t think we can do any more than we are!"

'I've had to take on a second job to save for a deposit and can't even afford to visit my family'

Tom Bourlet, 30, a marketing manager, from Brighton, West Sussex, is among hundreds of thousands of wannabe first-time buyers priced out of the property market.

"I work 37.5 hours a week as a marketing manager in Brighton and earn a decent wage.

But after I pay £535 a month in rent and about £200 in train fares, I am left with very little cash to put away for a house deposit.

I've cut back my weekend drinking – and my restaurant visits and food shop costs have halved.

I've also taken on extra work by setting up travel and fashion blogs to hopefully push me closer to the £30,000-£40,000 I need for a deposit.

It's frustrating when I can't visit my family and friends in London because the train fares are so extortionate and I put pressure on myself to save.

My parents were living in a three-bed house when they were my age, while I've been saving for the past 18 months and hope I will have enough by 2024.

It'll be worth it in the long run but paying rent feels like money down the drain and owning a house feels like Mission Impossible.

We need the government to build more affordable homes."

'I'm crippled by rising childcare costs'

Mum-of-three Ceris Bradley, 34, a fundraising manager from Cheltenham, Gloucs, says her monthly childcare bill for her boys aged 3 to 5 is more than her mortgage.

"I work full time and have taken up the 30 hours free childcare for my three-year-old twin boys, Ruben and Finn.

Childcare costs are soaring seven times faster than wages, so young mums like me don't stand a chance.

The providers can't cover their costs with the money they are given by the Government so they pass their losses onto us – and why shouldn't they?

They have wages to pay. They charge extra for meals and nappies to ensure they are covering their costs.

So we're having to pay £788 for 40 hours childcare for our twins, even though supposedly 30 hours are covered by the Government!

My boys reaching three was meant to be relief for us because we are then entitled to a total of 30 hours free childcare a week.

But it's not made much difference to our monthly bill – still more than our mortgage.

We are trying to be responsible, hard working parents but the government introduces these initiatives without actually thinking about how it will work in practice.

The government should be funding the real cost per hour for childcare, instead of around a pound less per hour.

The principle is right, they've just not got the numbers correct!"

'Young people are discriminated against in the job market'

Entrepreneur Jack Parsons, 24, of Romford, Essex, believes business owners should stop refusing to consider young people for senior roles because of their age.

"We need to stop judging a young person's salary based on their age and more on their skill set and what they can do.

I run Big Youth Group, which improves the workplace odds for young people and uses a digital platform that they are comfortable with, as well as social media.

Big Youth Group believes that the world of work for a young person should be meritocratic; they should be rewarded for what they can do rather than their age

Starting up my own company was tough and I've been a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) twice now; it was tough moving back home, but tougher still walking away from my first business and my mental health suffered from this. I believe that it is important to fail – and learn from failure.

Since then, I've had a lot of young people coming to me saying there are senior roles being advertised for £30,000.

But because it's 'senior' then automatically businesses think they won't interview someone under the age of 30 and they didn't get the job.

This is frustrating because young people work hard but can't get a pay rise and feel underemployed.

The average age of a CEO is 50.

I've had a lot of knockbacks and businesses not wanting to meet saying 'once you get some more experience behind you which will come with age'.

We need to educate businesses that we live in a world where it doesn't matter if you're 17 or 48 – it should be based on what you can do."

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