Are Millennials Doing Better than Initially Thought?

by Tom Walsh

More underemployed college graduates work in the office sector than service

One of the common beliefs about the current job market is the underemployed college graduate being forced to work as a barista, or another form of unskilled labor for minimum wage. However, new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that even in the depths of the recession, while 45 percent of college graduates did work a “non-college” job, only 1 in 5 of those did so in a low-skilled service job.

Overall, 25.2 percent of underemployed college graduates worked in the office and administrative support sector, which paid on average $37,207 annually, versus $23,584 for low-skilled service. While that’s still a far cry from the average college job, which pays an annual average of $78,500, it’s still a livable wage in many parts of the country. Additionally, the Fed’s story pointed out that once graduates get experience under their belt, it becomes much easier for them to transition to a college job in their field.

Many Factors Weighing Millennials Down

In the post-boom housing market, home purchase have stalled among younger consumers, a fact that has made Millennials a hot topic of conversation and resaerch in housing circles. For instance, recent analysis found that 31 percent of all 18 to 34 year-olds still live at home with their parents, which further research has connected to the increasing marriage age of Americans. In 1970, 49 percent of 18 to 34 year-olds were married with kids, but in 2015, only 20 percent were married with children, and that bares considerable influence on homebuying attitudes; according to NeighborWorks America, 43 percent of people plan to purchase a home after they’ve married or moved in with a partner. Because of the long-term nature of those trends, some have argued that such demographic shifts represent a new normal for American housing.

Additionally, wages are still a problem for Millennials, regardless of shifts in demographics. According to realtor.com, 51 percent of Millennials said a new job, promotion or raise would encourage them to purchase a home, while 50 percent need to save for a down payment and 36 percent need improvement in their credit history. All three of those were higher than adults 35 to 55 years-old, suggesting that such homebuying struggles are unique to Millennials.

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