Pew Research Report – Young, Underemployed and Optimistic: Coming of Age, Slowly, in a Tough Economy

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Link to Report

This report combines data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the results from a survey of 2,048 adults nationwide (including 808 young adults) to draw conclusions about the state of the young adults in the labor force of today's economy.

Some key findings include:

  • A plurality of the public (41%) believes young adults, rather than middle-aged or older adults, are having the toughest time in today’s economy
  • Large majorities of the public say it’s harder for young adults to reach many of the basic financial goals their parents may have taken for granted. More than eight-in-ten (82%) say finding a job is harder for young adults today than it was for their parents’ generation.
  • Adulthood begins later than it used to: In a 1993 Newsweek poll, 80% of parents with young children said children should be financially independent from their parents by the age of 22. Today, only 67% of parents hold that view. Three-in-ten (31%) of today’s parents say children shouldn’t have to be on their own financially until age 25 or later.