The share of young adults ages 18-29 living with their parents is at its highest level ever recorded, beating the previous record set in 1940 at the end of the Great Depression.
Pew Research measured the share of young people living with at least one parent in the household at 52% in July. The first time the stat included a majority of young Americans was several months prior in April when 51% said they were living with a parent.
The coronavirus outbreak in the United States triggered widespread shutdowns in March as state governments shuttered large parts of the American economy, forcing millions out of jobs and choking opportunity for millions more ready to enter the workforce out of high school or college. Since February, the number of young adults living with their parents has increased by 2.6 million up to 26.6 million. The hardest-hit demographics are those ages 18-24 and those that are white.
Pew notes that the share of young adults living with at least one parent is the highest on record, though not necessarily higher than at all times during the Great Depression: “Before 2020, the highest measured value was in the 1940 census at the end of the Great Depression, when 48% of young adults lived with their parents. The peak may have been higher during the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but there is no data for that period.”
States continue to process hundreds of thousands of unemployment claims every week. It’s unclear how many of those are new applicants or state labor agencies catching up on backlogs after systems were overrun with applications in the first weeks of the shutdowns.
In some positive news for the economy, the unemployment rate has continued to tick down after hitting a high of nearly 15% in April. On Friday, the Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.4% in August. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia cheered the news, saying the economic recovery is outpacing experts’ predictions.
“The experts watching the job markets were saying we wouldn’t get there until maybe late next year,” Scalia said in an appearance on Fox News on Monday.
“Under the last administration during the so-called ‘great recession,’ our last economic downturn, it took 34 months, nearly three years to get unemployment down under 8.5%,” Scalia continued. “The president, the country, we have done it in four months. So, it’s a very strong trend.”
On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took another tack, saying in a statement that the jobs report is a sign that Congress must act to blunt economic fallout from the coronavirus. She blamed Republicans for alleged inaction.
“Sadly, Republicans continue to demonstrate their utter contempt for the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans who are being devastated by Republicans’ deadly inaction. The White House and Senate Republicans have made clear that they still do not comprehend the scale of this disaster or the urgent needs of our communities and the American people,” Pelosi said. “House Democrats have come to the negotiating table willing to compromise, and we will continue reaching out until we achieve a fair agreement that meets the needs of all Americans.”