Are Millennials Really So On The Move?

Aug 6, 2018

With Eric Westervelt

Millennials by the numbers. Do all those assumptions about their wanderlust and fear of commitment hold up? Are they really so different from everyone else?


Lyman Stone, advisor at Democratic Intelligence. Adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Columnist for Vox. (@lymanstoneky)

Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University focusing on generational differences. Author of “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us” and “Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before.” (@jean_twenge)

From The Reading List

Vox: “The myth of the job-hopping, rootless millennial is just that — a myth” — “American society is becoming more and more rooted, permanent, and stable. This conclusion is the opposite of the take on social change you will hear in most public commentary. And the trend is a bad development. You might have been led to believe that millennials, for example, were major participants in the booming ‘gig economy,’ in which multiple relationships with independent contractors are cobbled together to form a career. But a recent survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the share of workers working under ‘gig’-style frameworks has actually declined in the past 10 years. The hype about an increasingly dynamic, untethered, independent workforce was just wrong.”

CNBC: “Here’s why millions of millennials are not homeowners” — “Homeownership eludes millions of millennials. A new report by the Urban Institute, a policy research group, tries to explain why. There is a whole host of reasons, including personal preferences and economic disadvantages, that explain why the homeownership rate for the largest generation in U.S. history is lower than that of their parents and grandparents.”

The conventional view of millennials is that they’re rootless, urban job hoppers with a fear of commitment. They’re living off the “gig economy” and some are still living with mom and dad. But those assumptions just don’t hold up to scrutiny. Are millennials really that different from everyone else?

This hour, On Point: millennials by the numbers, the myths and realities.

— Eric Westervelt

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