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By Center for Personal Finance editors

In the past year, 13% of parents with adult children reported one of their daughters or sons moved back home, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in late October. The Credit Union National Association's News Now reports that, with the recession leaving a rising number of young adults unemployed or on reduced salaries, many are facing major changes—moving home, finding a roommate, putting life on hold, or returning to school.

Record unemployment has sent many young adults back to their parents' homes.While everyone has been touched by the recession, it's been especially rough on young adults. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 46% of 16- to 24-year-olds are employed. This is the lowest percentage since the government began collecting this data in 1948.

Record unemployment has sent many young adults back to their parents' homes. The survey cites that one of 10 adults ages 18 to 34 moved back home due to the poor economy. Of those living with parents, about half are employed at least part time. Moving back home can be stressful for both parent and adult child. Setting ground rules—such as rent payment, chore responsibilities, and privacy expectations—can ease the transition.

As an alternative to moving home, others have found a roommate. About one-fourth of those ages 18 to 24 reported moving in with a roommate due to the recession. Those ages 25 to 34 were less likely to share a room, but more likely to postpone a major change.

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"I don't." More than a fifth of those ages 25 to 34 postponed getting married as a result of the recession. Likewise 15% in this age group delayed starting a family. With the beginning of a new year, now's a good time to re-evaluate current debt and spending with an eye on forecasting a budget for 2010.

Often college enrollment increases during a recession. It comes as no surprise that the share of 18- to 24-year-olds attending college, four-year or two-year, hit an all-time high in October 2008 (the most recent date available). Fueled by high unemployment and increasing high-school graduation rates, 2009 enrollments may reach a new peak. Those attaining additional skills or certifications may find themselves better qualified applicants as they search for employment in 2010 and later.

Published December 31, 2009

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