Young, Underemployed and Optimistic
A plurality of the American public believe that young adults are having the toughest time of any age group in today's economy -- and a lopsided majority says it's more difficult for today's young adults than it was for their parents' generation to pay for college, find a job, buy a home or save for the future.
Young adults (ages 18 to 34) say that the sluggish economy has had an impact on a wide array of coming-of-age decisions about career, marriage, parenthood and schooling.
These accommodations to a tough economy appear to have contributed to a broader change in social norms about when adulthood begins. The survey finds that today two-thirds of parents of children age 16 or younger say children should have to become financially independent from their parents by the age of 22 -- down from 80% who felt this way in 1993.