Empty nests fill up as Covid-19 forces youth back home

It may not quite be as drastic as a new world economic order, but people in their 30s returning to the proverbial nest can never be a good sign for the economy. In September, the Pew Research Centre released a report which found the coronavirus outbreak had pushed millions of Americans, especially young adults, to move in with family members. "The share of 18- to 29-year-olds living with their parents has become a majority since coronavirus cases began spreading early this year, surpassing the previous peak during the Great Depression era," Pew found. "In July, 52% of young adults resided...
It may not quite be as drastic as a new world economic order, but people in their 30s returning to the proverbial nest can never be a good sign for the economy.

In September, the Pew Research Centre released a report which found the coronavirus outbreak had pushed millions of Americans, especially young adults, to move in with family members.

"The share of 18- to 29-year-olds living with their parents has become a majority since coronavirus cases began spreading early this year, surpassing the previous peak during the Great Depression era," Pew found.

"In July, 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents, up from 47% in February," according to analysis of monthly Census Bureau data."

Pew also reported young men were more likely than young women to live with their parents and both groups experienced increases in the number residing with mom, dad or both parents since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.

With an economy crippled by the lockdown and potential errors in modelling the outcome of the impact of the virus, the local picture appears to be quite similar.

"We asked our Twitter followers – particularly those between the ages of 21 and 35 – if they or someone they knew had been forced to move home," said Gumtree's marketing manager, Estelle Nagel.

"The results were a resounding yes, with 64% of young South Africans in our target group of 2 400 saying they had been directly impacted by the economic knock-on effects of Covid-19.

"This is also congruent with the uptick in rental property listings on the Gumtree platform."

Nagel said yesterday, the platform had 17,140 rental houses and flats listed in Gauteng, 12,795 in the Western Cape, and 7,657 in KwaZulu-Natal.

The employment market similarly has remained stagnant with the Career Junction Index reporting a mere 1% increase in hiring activity between July and August.

"Hiring activity for professionals in the business & management sector, manufacturing and assembly sector and warehousing and logistics sector has picked up since May," the report noted.

"Despite a dip in recruitment during August, demand for labour is expected to grow. The health sector has seen the highest labour demand during the past six months due to the pandemic."

amandaw@citizen.co.za

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