The phenomenon of adult children moving back in to live with mom and dad, or as the coined phrase of “boomerang kids” indicates, isn’t an anomaly your next door neighbor is enduring, but rather a reality many are facing today.
According to research done by Twentysomething,inc. a marketing and research firm based in Philadelphia, the rate of almost 85% of grad moving back home in 2016, has steadily increased from 67% in 2006. The first reason for this change can be reasoned by the unemployment rate of over 9% in recent years. Yet, looking at the numbers in the August Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs report shows that unemployment rate for college graduates is only 4.3% which is declining from 5% in the prior year.
The positive spin is that more than 95% of our graduates are in fact working. Yet, to put this number in perspective know that the same report showed that college experience does matter as those with just associates degree have an 8.2% unemployment rate, high school graduates have a 9.6% rate, and those without a high school degree have a 14.6% jobless rate.
So while being a college graduate is in fact a worthwhile title and does in fact significantly improve your job prospects, why is the rate of boomerang kids increasing overall each year? It seems to me that there are two additional possible explanations for this trend.
The first may very well be affordability. While these young adults may be working, they are not working in their chosen fields and are in fact under-employed. The income that they are settling for while looking elsewhere, may simply not be enough to support the life style they are accustomed to from home. For those who are in fact unemployed and looking, living at home is the only option as affording housing while looking for work is simply a non starter for many young adults.
The second reasons I believe so many graduates are moving back home is their student loan obligation. On the one hand the numbers show that having a college degree does increase your chances of gaining employment yet the BLS numbers also show that 50% of those graduates appear in the under-employed category. With an average of $27,000 in loans per graduate according to the Twentysomething.inc. report, young adults are forced in fact to delay starting their own households and remain in their parent’s home to simply meet the obligation of paying their student loan first.
The long term ramifications of this unprecedented phenomenon are not yet fully understood but you know it can’t be good. So if you face this challenge of having your adult child move back home set some ground rules upfront:
* Decide on some form of payment whether in the form of actual dollars and cents or good old chores
* Don’t cater to your child as if they were in fact children
* Moms! no doing laundry, making the bed and cooking – unless they actually pay for it
* Decide on shared spaces and private space for each of you
* Try to place a time frame with an end date on this arrangement
* Keeping an open, realistic mind set while you all go through this experience should keep the family unit together.
* And finally remember the old saying “that which doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger”.
Good luck out there
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