2021 is just around the corner and with it, a whole world of new possibilities. Nothing magical happens on January 1, but it’s still hard not to take the day as a symbolic reset button, especially after the year we’ve had. But by the same token, 2021 will be the exact same world we’ve spent our lives in, for better or worse. And for the first time, that world is going to include 40-year-old millennials.
To name just a few examples, some millennial icons that will be turning 40 in 2021 include Alicia Keys, Natalie Portman, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Elijah Wood, Justin Timberlake and Chris Evans.
It’s a little odd, given that millennials are often held up as emblematic of just what’s wrong with kids these days, even though as of 2018, a little over half of all millennial women had given birth to kids of their own. At 40 years old, the very first millennials will actually be old enough to sue employers under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. That’s an important point, since age discrimination tends to bloom after periods of recession like the one we’re looking at right now with COVID-19.
“Most people aren’t going to face age discrimination at 40, but there will be some women who will be facing age discrimination by then,” Tulane economist Patrick Button told the Washington Post. According to their analysis, women usually start facing significant age discrimination issues in the workplace by the time they hit 50. It isn’t until around 65 that men start seeing a similar “sharp drop in callbacks.” That’s a ways off yet for millennials but, well, there are more New Years up ahead.