Housewares retailers trying to sell to younger shoppers are stymied by the fact that even while the economy has rebounded, Millennials are still living with their parents. And that appears to be a trend that is going to have long-term effects on a number of markets, from retail to real estate.
A report from the Pew Research Center shows that despite improvements in the labor market, the nation’s 18-to-34-year-olds are “less likely to be living independently of their families and establishing their own households today than they were in the depths of the Great Recession.”
This is happening even though unemployment is down, full-time work is up and wages are rebounding, at least a little bit. That’s bad news for retailers who want to sell Millennials cookware, giftware, tableware and other goods for their homes.
Even though there are 3 million more young adults today than there were since the recession hit in 2007, the number heading their own households has actually decreased. During the first third of 2015 about 42.2 million 18-to-34-year-olds lived under their own roofs; prior to the recession, about 42.7 million lived independently.
And during this economic recovery, which saw the national unemployment rate for adults ages 18 to 34 decline from a high of 12.4 percent to 7.7 percent, more people in that age group have moved back home rather than buying or renting their own place.
In 2010, 69 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds lived independently. As of the first four months of 2015, only 67 percent of Millennials were living on their own. Over the same time period, the share of young adults living in their parents’ homes increased from 24 percent to 26 percent.
The decline in independent living crosses educational borders: both better-educated and less-educated young adults are moving back in with their folks.
While more young women live independently than young men do, (72 percent of Millennial women live independently, compared to 63 percent of men) that ratio remains the same as it was during the Great Recession. Which means that both genders are less likely to have their own place today, and that retailers may want to look into appealing to combined households–both parents and their adult children–in the future.
Sources: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Data