Young adults living with parents: Employment

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

As we have previously seen, the number of young adults living with their parents has been steadily increasing in the past decades.

In this post, we will explore their employment, income and occupation. Again, we used IPUMS to get ACS data for multiple years. As before, we restricted our scope to people 18 to 34 years old.

In the 60s, most men who were still staying with their parents after 18 were employed — 69 percent, while only 59 percent of women in the group had a job. This gap steadily decreased until 2005-2010; at that time, the employment rate for women exceeded that of men. In 2010, 56 percent of young women in the group had a job, while only 53 percent of men did.

The overall employment rate of young adults living at home increased until the 90s (after a drop in 1970). After that it went down again, reaching 54.7 percent in 2010. During 2010-2015 it went up again (a record 5 percent increase) to 61.3 percent: more and more young adults with a job remain living in their parents’ home.

On this chart we present different employment statuses by gender. We can see that both men and women are more likely to live at home if they are unemployed, although this pattern is more prominent for men.

Even those staying at home who are employed suffer from a rather low income. One of the main reasons young adults remain with parents is that they simply cannot support living on their own yet. Women living at home tend to have lower incomes than men, but this number has been increasing since 2005. The average income of young adults living with their parents was around $19,000 in 2015.

If we look at major occupation groups, things have changed quite significantly in the past decades. Farming was the most common occupation for those living with their parents from the 60s to the 80s. Beginning in the 90s (and holding true until today), the highest number of home-stayers were labeled “No Occupation.” This group includes respondents who are unemployed, have no work experience in the last five years or have never worked. As of 2015, 46.8 percent of young adults with no occupation were staying at home. This value was higher for men (55.1 percent) than for women (39.7 percent).

For almost all occupations, men are more likely to be staying with their parents than women. One notable exception is the legal field: 15.3 percent women in this field live with their parents, while only 13.2 percent of men do.

People in higher-paying occupations such as IT, Legal or Engineering are the least likely to be living with their parents — no surprise here. Only 13.8 percent of young adults with an engineering job have not moved out yet.

Discuss this article on our forum with over 1,900,000 registered members.

About Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science


Alexander is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. He currently holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Math. He has experience working for industry major companies performing research in the fields of machine learning, data mining and natural language processing. In his free time, Alexander enjoys hiking, Nordic skiing and traveling.


Other posts by Alexander Fishkov:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *