With rental fundamentals plummeting over the past six months, there’s been a lot of speculation that Gen Y job losses have fueled the decline. A report from The Futures Co., a research firm based in Chapel Hill, N.C., backs that theory.
Of the 25,000 millennials The Futures Co. surveyed, 15 percent of those aged 16 to 30 have taken a pay cut this year; 11 percent of that group had been laid off. If you look at millennials aged 21 to 30, they are more likely to be working, though the numbers get even worse—14 percent were laid off, and 17 percent of those employed have taken a pay cut. By comparison, 13 percent of the approximately 600 Gen Xers surveyed and 8 percent of the approximately 600 Baby Boomers surveyed were laid off last year.
These stats don’t surprise Louis Pol, dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. “My sense is that they [millennials] were hit harder than the average person in the workforce,” he says.
And it’s little surprise that apartment owners feel these trends as much as anyone, with 54 percent of millennials aged 16 to 30 still living with their parents. “We are seeing the trend of ‘doubling up’ or moving back to parents’ homes for younger renters in this recession but have not noticed a disproportionate share of job losses,” says Robert Lee, senior vice president of JRK Birchmont Advisors, a company with 38,000 units in 26 states. “We are noticing more pronounced job losses geographically in markets tied to manufacturing and construction.”
Of the 21- to 30-year-old millennials living with their parents, 56 percent said they were trying to save money, and 16 percent said they had to move home because their employment situation changed. “They’re staying at home because they can’t afford rent,” says John Page, research director for The Futures Co.