Younger workers are missing out on pay rises as firms no longer reward staff for long service, coupled with a slowdown in moving jobs and a shift towards low-paid work, research shows.
Britain's long-standing progress on pay through the generations has come to a halt, said the Resolution Foundation.
Workers born in the early 1950s to the late 1970s earned more in their 20s than previous generations, but the trend has ended for those born since the 1980s, the think tank said.
People born during the 1980s have earned around £40 a week less than those born 10 years earlier around the age of 30, said the report.
The financial crisis was partly responsible, but the think tank said another reason was fewer young people moving jobs and a fall in pay rises to long-serving employees.
Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "Everyone's pay packets took a major hit in the wake of the financial crisis but young people were particularly hard hit as it came at a time when their careers were barely off the ground.
"But the stalled progress on pay for young people today is unprecedented and its causes run far deeper than the recession. The pay of older millennials in their early 30s actually started to slow before the crisis hit.
"One of the most striking shifts in the labour market has been young people prioritising job security and opting to stick with their employer rather than move jobs.
"This may be understandable in a jobs market characterised by rising temporary work and zero-hours contracts.
"With the typical pay rise for a job mover in their mid-20s at around 15%, and evidence that employers have essentially stopped rewarding their long-serving staff with real annual pay increases, such job loyalty can be very costly."