When the economy makes you move home

With a good story, some cool video and a neat online conversation, MPR today got its arms around the joys and frustrations of young adults who’ve moved back home because of the recession.

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It’s a tale we’ve been hearing pretty regularly among folks in MPR’s Public Insight Network. That includes Dawn Mikkelson, who was featured in today’s story.

It got us thinking about how others who told us similar stories are faring. We caught up with a couple of them.

Russ Haywood, 25, of Woodbury told us in June he’d been unable to pay his student loans and couldn’t find work so moved back home with his parents. “Still no job,” he told us today but back in school pursing an MBA.

Technically I’m “underemployed.” I work two hours a week doing technical theater for a community auditorium. My boss is an intern.

I’m still at home. I find it amazing how much the simple act of living costs, and my lifestyle is far from extravagant…Unless you are “perfectly qualified” for a job, there are simply no entry level college grad jobs out there.

It’s interesting being home for the first time since high school partly because I get to see where my flaws and bad habits come from, and maybe do something about them, and I have an adopted little sister from Russia who the family got when I was a junior in college and I haven’t met (she’s 17 now)!

I’m thankful my parents are so (relatively) successful and able to support me, I don’t know what would happen if one of them lost their job…

JH of Stillwater told us earlier this year of “supporting an unemployed 30-something son who lives in a small house I own in south Mpls and is paying no rent. If he remains unemployed and my job doesn’t becomes more secure…he may need to move in with me and I’ll have to sell the Mpls house.”

Happily that didn’t happen. JH (who asked us not to use a full name) told us today, “we’re getting by without having to ask my son to move home.”

My son got a job at $9.10 an hour and roughly 30 hours a week, not the greatest job/pay/hours, but better than no income. He’s been working 2-3 months now. Still not paying rent as he’s trying to catch up some bills and transportation has become the new issue.

He’s currently driving a borrowed vehicle and we’re looking for a reliable car under $1,000 with my financial support to get him through the winter. Not an easy task after cash for clunkers. The good ones get snapped up pretty quickly.

Scrounging around for data I went back and found this jaw-dropping survey from collegegrad.com:

Among 2009 U.S. college graduates, 80 percent moved back home with their parents after graduation, up from 77 percent in 2008, 73 percent in 2007, and 67 percent in 2006….nearly 70 percent of recent grads did not have jobs lined up when they graduated.

Yikes. It was tough when I graduated in 1984 but I’m not sure it was that tough.


Click on the map icons below to read what other Minnesotans in MPR’s Public Insight Network have been telling us about the jobs climate around them. Then share your story.

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