OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

The Boomerang Generation

In a New York Times piece, Adam Davidson discusses the economic shifts and challenges that confronted Millennials and impacted their future career success.

Photo of Aaron Kinnari
3 2

Written by

In a New York Times Magazine piece this past month, Adam Davidson outlined some of the broader, systemic changes that have disrupted the traditional careers pathways of young people in America. 

Davidson outlines that "the latest recession was only part of the boomerang generation’s problem. In reality, it simply amplified a trend that had been growing stealthily for more than 30 years. Since 1980, the U.S. economy has been destabilized by a series of systemic changes — the growth of foreign trade, rapid advances in technology, changes to the tax code, among others — that have affected all workers but particularly those just embarking on their careers."

Davidson continues, and references some of the many ways in which economic changes are changing life decisions for young Americans. He notes that "In 1968, for instance, a vast majority of 20-somethings were living independent lives; more than half were married. But over the past 30 years, the onset of sustainable economic independence has been steadily receding. By 2007, before the recession even began, fewer than one in four young adults were married, and 34 percent relied on their parents for rent."

Read the full piece, "It's Official: The Boomberang Kids Won't Leave."


Join the conversation:

Photo of Meena Kadri

Interesting stuff, Aaron and awesome to have you joining in to participate on this challenge!

Here's an alternate view on Boomberang Generation:
"For many families, living at home is a strategic choice that permits young adults to attend or reduce the cost of higher education, take internships, or create a nest egg. (It may also be necessary for paying down student loans.) For them, it's not about being locked out of the labor market – but about building a more secure economic future. Moreover, living at home keeps many young adults out of poverty and safe. See more at:
... though personally I note that the cost of accommodation and scarcity of part time jobs to support oneself have changed a lot since I was an independent university student. Not to mention the increase in cost of tertiary education itself – so I'm not sure I agree with everything mentioned in this article – but it does make some interesting points.

Based on your own feelings about the Boomerang Generation – can you think of a 'How might we... ' question to add at the end of your post to spark further conversations from our OpenIDEO community around this topic? (You can update your post by hitting the Update Entry button up there on the right)

Looking forward to seeing more of you across this challenge.

Photo of luisa covaria

Meena and Aaron,
Super interesting conversation. I think it is super interesting to dig deeper on how the growth of foreign trade, rapid advances in technology and changes to the tax code have disrupted career pathways for millennials? Are there opportunity areas int these changes to build better career pathways for youth?
Looking forward to having you continue the conversation Aaron,

View all comments