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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Poor economic climate causes more graduates to return home

    The transition from graduation to the real world can be difficult. There is no definitive path to take. For some the job hunt begins immediately, while others seek a well-earned and rather extended vacation. Many students even end up returning home to live with their parents.

    Returning home has become a growing trend, and baby boomer offspring have been referred to as the “boomerang generation.” Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 53 percent have moved back home for an indeterminate period of time, according to a recent Pew Research study.

    The fragile state of the economy plays a significant role in this phenomenon. The unemployment rate for people age 20 to 24 is 12.9 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is substantially higher than the current national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. According to a recent Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative study, roughly one-third of all unemployed college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher suffer from long-term unemployment, meaning the individual is jobless for at least one year.

    Even among college grads fortunate enough to obtain a job, the Economic Policy Institute shows that average wages have gradually declined over the past ten years by as much as 7.5 percent for men and 6 percent for women. To add insult to injury, student loans are adding exponential debt for this portion of the population. All of these figures are a testament to how difficult it is for young adults to support themselves after college and why so many return home out of necessity.

    It is common for students to feel degraded for making the move back home. Relying on others to get by goes against the drive for independence and self-sustainability that college instills. Parents also may experience less satisfaction with their own lives if they believe their children are too dependent. However, despite these feelings being prevalent in our society, they do not entirely reflect the reality of the situation.

    The economic climate is not friendly to college graduates breaking out on their own. The best thing to do is to focus on the potential positives of going home as opposed to the negatives. It can be a time to reconnect with loved ones, ponder a direction to pursue and open their eyes to new possibilities never previously considered in life.

    — Max Efrein is a journalism and history junior. He can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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