Report: Jobs driving millennials to Austin, but financial worries persist

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Job opportunities are driving millennials to Austin according to a new report published Jan. 30 by Bank of America. Compared to 39 percent of millennials nationally, 55 percent of 23- to 37-year-olds say employment opportunities are the top benefit of living in Austin.

“It’s a good time to live and work in Austin—and the young adults here realize that,” said David Bader, regional executive for Bank of America.

According to the 2016 American Community Survey, which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the most populous age group in Austin is 25-34, which includes nearly 200,000 people and roughly correlates with the millennial generation. It easily eclipses the next most popular age group, 35-44, by more than 50,000 people.

When asked about their main financial concerns, 66 percent of Austin millennials cited housing costs, according to the same study. Affordability is an issue for Austinites of all ages, as the city recorded its highest median home price in 2017 at $362,000.

“Job opportunities of all kinds are growing, but at the same time, so are housing costs and day-to-day living costs,” Bader said. “That’s putting extra pressure on them to make smart financial choices.”

Although 63 percent of Austin millennials feel secure in their financial future, compared to 59 percent nationally, they are also more likely to worry about finances than their peers around the U.S., according to the survey. Their main concerns are saving, credit card debt and planning for retirement.

Compared to previous generations, millennials have unique concerns about and practices around money. According to the survey, nearly one-third of Austin millennial couples handle their finances separately, and 22 percent do not know their spouse’s salary.

When it comes to starting a family, 33 percent of Austin millennial parents said finances played a major role in their decision to have children compared to 22 percent of Gen Xers and 9 percent of baby boomers nationally.

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Emma Freer
Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her reporting focuses include employment and higher education. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.
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