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Many College Graduates Moving Back Home

By CityTownInfo.com Staff
October 22, 2009

College graduates facing the worst job market in years are being forced to move back home with their parents.

"I expected to have an excellent job in a field that I was passionate about, in a top corporate architecture firm in New York City," said Lisa Li, 22, a graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York City, who was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle. Li is now sharing a bedroom with her younger sister at her family's house in San Francisco and helping her parents manage their rental properties.

"I feel like a failure," she told the Chronicle. "From this experience, I learned to plan ahead and not to take what you see at face value."

A recent survey conducted by CollegeGrad.com, a Web site which posts entry level jobs, indicates that Li is not alone. Among 2009 U.S. college graduates, 80 percent moved back home with their parents after graduation, up from 67 percent in 2006.

"Many factors are responsible for the trend of recent graduates moving back in with their parents," said Adeola Ogunwole, director of marketing and public relations at CollegeGrad.com, in a press release. "The economy is tough right now. Every year, living independently becomes more expensive and entry level jobs become more competitive."

The poll indicated that nearly 70 percent of recent graduates did not have jobs lined up when they graduated, supporting recent statistics saying that the unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds now stands at 9.3 percent and is likely to get worse.

"The class of 2010 will not just be competing with itself," noted Kathy Sims, who heads the career center at UCLA and was interviewed by CBS News. "It'll be competing with the some of the class of 2008 and many of the class of 2009."

Graduates are also often faced with enormous student debt after completing college, which is also a reason that many choose to head home instead of spending money on housing and food.

Mike Kurn and Marion Presser Kurn of New Jersey, who were expecting an empty nest at their point in their lives, instead are housing their children Jodi, 21; Matt, 25; and Cheryl, 28. They told CBS News that Cheryl moved in after not being able to make ends meet with her part-time job, Matt came home because he is rethinking his career, and Jodi is still looking for a job. All three now work at Mike's gym.

"There's no point in kicking them out," said Marion, 54. "Where would they go?"

Yet the Chronicle notes that ironically, moving home has proven to be an educational experience for some graduates.

"I've gotten to see my parents in a different light," said Natalie Quave, 24, a recent graduate who now works two part-time jobs while living at home in California. "I grew up thinking that they were very strict and practical. But in living with them now, I realize how open-minded they are, and pretty adventurous. My relationship with them improved."

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