This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

Pity the millennial generation. At times it seems that a whole industry of marketers, economists, corporations, and journalists is scrutinizing and diagnosing millennials—a group of people, born after 1980, who came of age during the worst recession of the last roughly 75 years—to determine exactly how dire their financial futures will be.

The question on everyone's mind is whether this generation will ultimately exhibit drastically different ways of spending and saving money, approaching careers and business, and thinking through public policy. Or, will they simply outgrow the habits and quirks they've exhibited so far once they hit their 30s and start to think through conventional life decisions such as buying a home, settling into a career, or having kids?

Even the White House has weighed in on this question. At a July forum on housing, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Jason Furman, told the audience that "there is no strong reason to believe that millennials are dramatically different than the generations of Americans that preceded them. Rather, it is the unlucky economic times with which they were presented that explains much of their challenge."

Furman may end up being correct, but only time and more data will give us a definitive answer. In the meantime, here are some ways that millennials are reshaping the financial world and marketplace.

MILLENNIALS ON SPENDING

 The millennial generation, so far, is spending money differently than previous generations, preferring to throw cash at new experiences and adventures and to reward socially responsible companies that they can connect with and that they deem as authentic. It's easiest to see this change in the food industry, where millennials are helping to disrupt the landscape of casual restaurants and boosting the earnings of chains such as Chipotle or Panera Bread.

As part of this 2013 research from the Boston Consulting Group, millennials anticipated spending the greatest amount of money in the coming year on fresh fruits, organic food, and natural products. Less favorable, in their minds, was the idea of spending on luxury goods, soda, applications, and handbags.

MILLENNIALS ON BANKING

If there is one industry that millennials particularly dislike, it's big banks. A three-year research study of more than 10,000 millennials found that a good handful of the least-liked brands were big financial institutions such as Bank of America and Citigroup, leading the authors to name the financial industry as one of the greatest areas for potential disruption by millennials. Community banks are trying to capitalize on this distrust by beefing up their technology offerings, social media, mobile banking, and customer service in an effort to attract more millennial customers.

MILLENNIALS ON HOUSING 

The housing market is still pretty slow, weighing on the economic recovery. A big factor behind that sluggish recovery is the fact that first-time homebuyers (many of them young people) are staying out of the market, thanks to tight mortgage lending standards, lots of career instability, and high levels of student debt. Heck, forget buying a house; many millennials in their late 20s and early 30s are still living with their parents.

MILLENNIALS ON UNEMPLOYMENT

 Following the Great Recession, the millennial generation has suffered from high levels of both career instability and unemployment. Even in July 2014, roughly five years after the recession officially ended, millennials between the ages of 20 and 24 still suffered from an unemployment rate above 10 percent.

So where does this leave us? Around the country, various advocates, academics, businesses, and millennials themselves are carving out solutions to help the generation get on track financially. National Journal's Next Economy project will spend this month exploring some of the best solutions and talking to people who spend their time figuring out how to help this generation succeed.

MILLENNIALS ON SPENDING

 The millennial generation, so far, is spending money differently than previous generations, preferring to throw cash at new experiences and adventures and to reward socially responsible companies that they can connect with and that they deem as authentic. It's easiest to see this change in the food industry, where millennials are helping to disrupt the landscape of casual restaurants and boosting the earnings of chains such as Chipotle or Panera Bread.

As part of this 2013 research from the Boston Consulting Group, millennials anticipated spending the greatest amount of money in the coming year on fresh fruits, organic food, and natural products. Less favorable, in their minds, was the idea of spending on luxury goods, soda, applications, and handbags.

MILLENNIALS ON BANKING

If there is one industry that millennials particularly dislike, it's big banks. A three-year research study of more than 10,000 millennials found that a good handful of the least-liked brands were big financial institutions such as Bank of America and Citigroup, leading the authors to name the financial industry as one of the greatest areas for potential disruption by millennials. Community banks are trying to capitalize on this distrust by beefing up their technology offerings, social media, mobile banking, and customer service in an effort to attract more millennial customers.

MILLENNIALS ON HOUSING 

The housing market is still pretty slow, weighing on the economic recovery. A big factor behind that sluggish recovery is the fact that first-time homebuyers (many of them young people) are staying out of the market, thanks to tight mortgage lending standards, lots of career instability, and high levels of student debt. Heck, forget buying a house; many millennials in their late 20s and early 30s are still living with their parents.

MILLENNIALS ON UNEMPLOYMENT

 Following the Great Recession, the millennial generation has suffered from high levels of both career instability and unemployment. Even in July 2014, roughly five years after the recession officially ended, millennials between the ages of 20 and 24 still suffered from an unemployment rate above 10 percent.

So where does this leave us? Around the country, various advocates, academics, businesses, and millennials themselves are carving out solutions to help the generation get on track financially. National Journal's Next Economy project will spend this month exploring some of the best solutions and talking to people who spend their time figuring out how to help this generation succeed.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal and part of our Next Economy coverage.

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