Many users online have expressed their shock at how difficult it is to find a job, with some even stating that getting entry-level desk jobs is hard to find.
Trading Economics reported that as of March 2023, there were some 9.6 million unfilled jobs in the United States. Securing a high enough salary in order to live comfortably is a growing concern among citizens who are now living in a time where it’s more difficult to afford a house than it was during the Great Depression.
This is due to the exponential spikes in home ownership in the United States and a slew of other cost-of-living expenses increasing to some of the worst inflation America’s seen in the past 40 years.
As a result, there’s been a growing misunderstanding between different generations of working-class individuals in America, i.e. “boomers” versus “millennials” and “Gen Z.”
A TikToker named Cat (@catamorning) says that she took a look at the cost-of-living her “boomer” parents enjoyed versus what she has to look forward to once she enters the workforce after college, and was staggered at how much easier, economically, her parents had it.
In her video, Cat says that boomers, adjusted for inflation, earned more than double, on average, what current college graduates do today. Additionally, their housing costs were less than half of what someone would pay today for identical homes and apartments today.
Cat says this fundamental misunderstanding of inflation and the value of money causes disputes between different generations. She says that she has no idea how she’s going to reconcile with the relatively low salary she anticipates making upon graduation.
@catamorning sorry but i’m just so over people projecting their lived experiences from 1980 onto me thinking it’s super relevant to today’s reality #college #student #postcollege #job #employment #boomers ♬ original sound – Cat
After Cat compares various economical factors from then versus now in screenshots, she laments boomers’ thinking that young people just have “high expectations.”
“I think boomers just have such a hard time conceptualizing this because they never had to fight for jobs,” Cat says. “They were at the upswing of technology, they were at the upswing of big business, capitalism was booming, and then they look at us and they’re thinking…entitled. I’m not saying anyone’s like in the right or in the wrong, it’s not their fault like they just don’t know.”
She ends her video on a hopeless note, intoning that the nature of income and the job market has changed so much that simply graduating with a degree is not enough for a person to be able to live comfortably.
“I think that if you go to college you deserve to be able to make enough to live comfortably. I think if you don’t go to college you should be able to make enough to live comfortably,” she says. “Regardless of your major, regardless if you chose to go to college or not, you deserve to live comfortably.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Cat via TikTok comment.
One commenter remarked that they rarely hear inflation being brought up in conversations about salary and pay increases for job-seekers today.
“So true, they never incorporate inflation when they talk about wages!!” they shared. “Plus way fewer people went to college then so they could demand higher pay”
Others said comments they hear “boomers” make routinely include references to inflation.
“But at the same time will say ‘I remember when movie tickets were a dollar’ ‘I could fill my tank for 10 bucks’ oh so you do get inflation,” a user wrote.
Another shared that “wages aren’t keeping up with inflation and it’s infuriating,” which is categorically true according to Money.com.
Someone else wondered why legislation couldn’t be enacted to ensure that company salaries must be tied to inflation rates, writing, “Why can’t a law be signed into place that requires companies to increase pay by the inflation rate?”
We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
*First Published: May 7, 2023, 4:06 pm CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot covering trending human interest/social media stories and the reactions real people have to them. He always seeks to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and facts pertinent to these stories to create your not-so-average viral post.