Unemployment Drops...As More Men Move Back Home
Statistics released Friday see unemployment at its lowest point since the end of 2008: 7.4 percent, down from 9 percent two years ago. That's not to say the aftereffects of the recession aren't still felt: New research reveals that more adults than ever before are moving back home — especially men.
The number of Millennials living with their parents has peaked at a four-decade high, with a third of women between 18 and 31 staying firmly put at home. Even though the recession officially ended in 2009, more adults report living at home with their parents each passing year.
And apparently, men are even more likely to still be living with Mom and Dad — two out of every five American men, actually, according to the Pew Research Center.
Potentially because of the well-documented effects of the economic crisis, it's become more acceptable to throw your hands in the air and move back home. By 2012, unemployed Millennials had become far more likely to be living with their parents than five years previously — half called it a day and did so, as opposed to less than a third in 2007.
College enrollment is also on the up, even if potential students are ruling out expensive private colleges. Pew counted students living in dorms for the academic year as "living at home" for the purpose of the study, so that trend explains part of the rise.
Another factor could be that marriage is also declining for twentysomethings — five years ago, almost a third of us were married, and now it's down to a quarter. Since it's easier to live at home without having to awkwardly ask if the old ball and chain can join you, unmarried millennials are far more likely to do so.
The recession has had some other unexpected effects on the male young-adult population. A University of Kansas study found that men are more likely to tackle domestic chores, and are happier to let their wives bring home the bacon than ever. The economic climate has changed the way men approach masculinity, said the study's lead researcher:
It changes how men think of themselves. Usually men see themselves as supporters of the family, and since a lot of them are no longer able to do that alone on their income, they have to construct their identity in a new way to allow them to still think positively of themselves.
Other gender-based recession findings suggest that men were hit harder by job losses and minimized pay, but bounced back faster than women — often by breaking into typically female-led fields, such as health services and education.