Pew Study: Young Adults Optimistic Despite Underemployment

There’s a tepid optimism brewing in this country. The latest jobs report showed an economy in recovery–a sluggish recovery but still a recovery–and now new numbers from the Pew Research Center suggest even those hardest hit are finding bright spots.

The study focused on the impact of the recession on young adults and found that the number of young adults ages 18-24 currently employed is at its lowest since the government began collecting data in 1948 and large majorities of the public say it is harder for young adults to reach many of the basic financial goals their parents may have taken for granted.

Yet despite this glum news 88% of young adults say they either have or earn enough money now or expect they will in the future?

The findings mark similar trends of optimism in other populations hard hit by the recession.

Adults ages 35 and older are much less optimistic with 28% saying they don’t anticipate making enough money in the future.

One explanation in the increased pessimism in adults could be the cost of raising children. Daycare costs make saving for college impossible and the price of college tuition makes attending more and more difficult. With nearly one-third of this population feeling the pinch, parenthood is a reasonable link.

Photo from sterling college via flickr.


Joy Dantine
Joy Dantine5 years ago

I suggest we give credit to all whom have achieved high spirits during this "down" time amongst many whom have not. There is a future for this logic. It is those whom choose to drag others down with them that we wish to achieve and acquire to our positive way of thinking. Happily, I say, there is more positive than negative in the universe. Our future is already won. It is a done deal. NOW THAT IS POSITIVE. Should one prove otherwise, I will think eternally on this until I can prove he/she is wrong.

To find leadership ability in our youth is truly inspirational for our future holdings.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm5 years ago

For your information Sue many Older baby boomers are having to move in with their kids too.

Most young people are out there trying to make things happen. Some groups are setting up barter systems…….some are out there hawking whatever talent they have. Very few are just sitting home living off of mom and dad like you are implying. And that last smugly self important statement you made is beyond the pale.

Sue T.
Susan T5 years ago

yeah I'd be optimistic too if I had baby boomer parent who worked their asses off to provide for their now spoiled brat kids who refuse to do anything!

F'you young ones. one day mom & dad will not be ther to take care of your ass.

Welcome to the real world. you will be my bitch

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

Well sure, Big Biz loves young cheap help. That's all they'll hire. As soon as this batch grows up Big Biz with dump them like a hot potato and hire more young ones. It's the new Newt Gingrich morals. Use em up, dump em and get another one. These kids are gonna get screwed just like the rest of us, they just don't know it.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

Interesting article - thanks for posting.

Ernest R.
Ernest R5 years ago

@ cecily w …”The more people that have to share a resource, the less each person gets”. Thanks for recognition of the overpopulation disaster.
The above quote is especially true in Canada which has a commodities economy. In other words the economy relies on selling wood, minerals and other pieces of the country.{ fish used to be included }, so the ongoing welcoming of thousands of “new Canadians” is particularly insane.

Ernest R.
Ernest R5 years ago

@ Bruce R.. As I suspected. They are playing make-believe and they think it’s reality.

bharathi A.
bharathi A5 years ago

That'll change.

Mark S.
Mark S5 years ago

And I believe in the Easter Bunny.

Bruce K.
Bruce K5 years ago

Most of the students I talk to are optimistic that things will turn around after Obama leaves next year