Why Young Adults Are Failing at Being Adults

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Growing up is never easy and comes with many daunting challenges. But studies suggest millennials are having a harder time becoming self-sufficient than any other generation in recent history -- with college being part of the solution and part of the problem.

According to a study by researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the numbers of young people around the world failing to transition from childhood to independent adulthood has been growing. More are still living at home with their parents and unable to get long-term, full-time employment.

"Young adults are doing increasingly worse economically in spite of living in wealthy regions of the world," said IIASA population expert Vegard Skirbekk and co-author of the study, in a press release.

Skirbekk and the two other researchers who worked on the study, Warren Sanderson and Marcin Stonawski, dub this "Young Adult Failure to Thrive Syndrome" in the study, which appeared last month in the Finnish Yearbook of Population Research.

They blame global economic and demographic shifts that began in the 1980s, with failure to thrive likely tied to a more globalized labor force and more women entering the workforce. The current generation of young adults is also more educated than their predecessors, putting a glut of workers qualified for more skilled positions into an increasingly tighter labor market.

At the same time, technological advances have opened up opportunities for new positions but rendered many others obsolete, creating a trend toward fewer industrial jobs and more service-sector jobs that are often lower paying and part time.

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