Millennials are always on the cool new trends — pickling stuff that isn't normally pickled, taking kooky Vines, wearing hats in the summer, etc. But arguably the new hottest millennial trend of all is inheriting an imploding economy and then moving in with one's parents due to crushing student loans debt.
A new study from Pew Research finds that 36 percent of young adults aged 18 to 31 are living with their parents. That's 21.6 million millennials; it's also the highest number in four decades, having risen 4 percent since the start of the Great Recession in 2007.
In the words of Stephanie Levonne, a 20-year-old college student living at home:
“Most of my friends that have graduated end up living back home because even if they have a job they can’t afford to pay rent and pay back their loans at the same time. I know a lot of people that took out almost half or more of their tuition in loans which is $50,000 so it’s impossible to pay rent and live in New York City while paying off your loan.”
So, an outlandishly expensive college degree simultaneously enables young adults to get gainful employment (whatever that is) and deprives them of the ability to pay for their own housing — of course, rent in NYC is mind-bogglingly expensive, but that doesn't change the bleakness of the situation.
It's also tough on parents, most of whom (understandably) didn't plan for the financial possibility of having to house their children well into their mid-20s. According to Pew research, only 35 percent of millennials living at home pay rent, and 25 percent don't contribute to household expenses. A horribly lazy 4 percent (WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE) don't even help with chores.
According to the Labor Department's latest job report, the economy has added 162,000 jobs in the past month, and unempoyment is down to 7.4 percent. So there's that.