Home for the Holidays... and Every Other Day

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home for the Holidays... and Every Other Day

The journey home for Thanksgiving won't be quite so far this year for many young adults. Instead of traveling across country or across town, many grown sons and daughters will be coming to dinner from their old bedroom down the hall, which now doubles as their recession-era refuge.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 13% of parents with grown children say one of their adult sons or daughters has moved back home in the past year. Social scientists call them "boomerangers" -- young adults who move in with parents after living away from home. This recession has produced a bumper crop.

While the recession has touched Americans of all ages, it has been particularly hard on young adults. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a smaller share of 16- to 24-year-olds are currently employed -- 46.1% -- than at any time since the government began collecting such data in 1948.

At the same time, college enrollment has soared to an all-time high. Taken together, record unemployment and growing college enrollments help explain why proportionately fewer young people today are living by themselves.

Source: Pew Research Center