When it comes to the future business success of fashion apparel retailing, it’s no surprise that many companies are banking on Millennials – the largest generation.
However, this demographic has been plagued with issues, including heavy student debt loads and an inability to earn money. Indeed, many more Millennials are living with their families today then they were in prior years, according to a just-released report from the Pew Research Center.
But there’s good news for retailers: Millennials, despite not living independently, are making more money then they had while their employment situation has greatly improved.
“The decline in independent living during the recovery has occurred in the context of a substantial, albeit incomplete, recovery of the labor market for young adults,” the Pew researchers said in their report. “On an annual basis, unemployment among 18- to 34-year-olds peaked at 12.4 percent in 2010. As of the first third of 2015, unemployment among young adults in this age group was 7.7 percent, nearly 40 percent below the peak. However, it was still above the 6.2 percent unemployment rate in 2007, before the Great Recession.”
Of course the researchers note that the unemployment rate applies to those who are in the labor force and are “actively seeking work,” which doesn’t account for people who may have stopped looking for work. “But other measures also indicate significant improvements in labor market outcomes for young adults, although the gains may be short of complete recovery,” the researchers noted, adding that the share of young adults who are employed “has increased from 69 percent in 2010 to 72 percent today.”
Moreover, the percentage of Millennials employed full-time has shown a significant increase. “In 2009, only 70 percent of 18- to 34-year-old employees worked full-time, the lowest share during the recession,” the authors said. “By the first third of 2015, that share had risen to 74 percent.”
And regarding median weekly earnings, they, too, have increased – rising to $574 in the first third of 2015, which compares to $547 in 2012. Still, the earnings are below the $592 median reached in 2008.
At this point it is not clear if Millennials living at home and earning more will transform into great spending on apparel or accessories.