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Young adults still reluctant to move out, even with economy improving
Although the job market's improving, millennials don't seem in a hurry to leave the nest and launch out on their own, according to the Pew Research Center. - photo by Lois M Collins
Although the job market's improving, millennials don't seem in a hurry to leave the nest and launch out on their own, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

"Five years into the economic recovery, things are looking up for young adults in the U.S. labor market. Unemployment is down, full-time work is up and wages have modestly rebounded. But, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, these improvements in the labor market have not led to more millennials living apart from their families. In fact, the nations 18- to 34-year-olds are less likely to be living independently of their families and establishing their own households today than they were in the depths of the Great Recession," the report by Pew's Richard Fry, a senior researcher, says.

It adds that the number of millennial-age adults has grown while the number heading their own households has not. Two-thirds of millennials live independently, but a third are staying with the folks.

"Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate for adults ages 18 to 34 declined to 7.7 percent in the first third of 2015, a significant recovery from the 12.4 percent who were unemployed in 2010. Other standard benchmarks also demonstrate that nationally the young adult labor market has strengthened. Both job-holding and full-time employment have increased since 2010. In addition, median weekly earnings among young adult workers are up marginally: $574 through the first four months of this year, up from their 2012 low of $547," Fry wrote.

Young adults were the age group that was hardest hit by the Great Recession, Fry told The New York Times. Theyre not fully healed from the damages.

"Many housing analysts have been counting on young people to help lift the still-restrained housing market by buying their own condos or houses, moving out of rental apartments or their family home," Times reporter Deonne Searcey wrote, adding that homeownership in America has fallen to its lowest point since 1967.

We need the millennials to start leaving their parents homes and start out on their own for the housing market to normalize, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moodys Analytics, told Searcey. This is going to be a problem if it continues.

Slate reporter Jordan Weissmann took a deeper dive into the numbers with Pew's help, breaking millennials into smaller age groups. "In the first three months of 2015, it seems, the percentage of younger millennials living at home shrank a bit. For older millennials, it rose. Pew cautions that, because of seasonal issues, numbers from this past winter might not be 100 percent comparable with full-year data from 2014. But still, there's no real sign that the 25-to-34 group is leaving the nest," he wrote.

Weissman concluded that other cultural factors may be contributing to the stay-home effect: "Really, though, it's kind of silly to try and single out a single overriding reason why millennials are still fulfilling our stereotype as the boomerang generation. The labor market might not be a raging dumpster fire anymore. But over the past 15 years, the economy (and culture) has evolved in ways that make living solo less appealing. The rent is high. We have education loans to pay off. We're not in a rush to get hitched. So long as all that stays true, America's basements are probably going to stay pretty full."
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