Imagine you’re living the American Dream. You graduated from high school with top honors, moved away from your parents, experienced the college life, walked across stage to receive your diploma, and made your parents proud. However, there’s one thing missing from your American Dream- a solid job! Over the past five years, we’ve been met with the worst of economic challenges- high unemployment rates, a housing crisis, and high debt, just to name a few. In 2010, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates reached 9.1%, the highest annual rate on record for college graduates ages 20 to 24 according to the Project on Student Debt, 2011. Student borrowing has almost doubled to $100 billion surpassing national credit card debt. However, some millennial college graduates have found a simple solution to their money woes-moving back in with mom & dad.
There are two main reasons college graduates are moving back home with their parents. First, college graduates are now more than ever in outstanding debt. It is projected that upon graduation, millennials will be $25,250 in debt. The average student loan balance has doubled from 2005 to 2012. In fact, the total U.S. student loan debt is around $1 trillion dollars which is enough to feed every homeless person in the U.S. for 50 years.
Second, high unemployment rates have made it increasingly hard for millennials to find a job. 1.5 million (53.6%) of young adults with bachelor’s degrees are jobless or underemployed. That number is the highest it has been in 11 years. Around 100,000 of graduates are employed as waiters, waitresses, and bartenders; while only 90,000 of graduates are employed as engineers, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians. College graduates have a 1% chance of landing a car washing job while have a 6% chance of getting hired at McDonald’s. The top five college majors that are least likely to find jobs are: clinical psychology (19.5%), fine arts (16.2%), U.S. history (15.1%), library science (15.0%), and architecture (10.6%).
With dismal employment and debt numbers, more college graduates are moving back home more than anytime since 1950. Currently, 53% of young adults ages 18-24 live with their parents. In contrast, around 29% of young adults ages 25-34 live with their parents. Back in 1980, only 1 in 10 graduates lived with their parents. That number has more than tripled with 4 in 10 living with their parents. In fact, 85% of college seniors plan to move back home after graduation. So, if you’re graduating in a couple of months, don’t fret if you can’t find a job and you’re in debt; you can always move back home.