When I read this stat, I was floored. I knew the percentage would be high, but not this high. 

(photo: Carey Hope, Thinkstock)
(photo: Carey Hope, Thinkstock)

48% of young adults in New Jersey are living with their parents. That is the highest percentage in the country.

The reasons for this staggering number? The high cost of college tuition and the difficulty of affording to live in this state.

I'm a part of Gen-X, didn't go to college and don't live with my parents. While my situation might be slightly different, I feel the need to speak up on behalf of hard-working Millennials who are trying to make ends meet and "live the dream."

Can we stop saying that Millennials are slackers and therefore are living in Mom and Dad's basement? For the most part that's just not true.

The numbers back me up. According to the NY Post, 30 percent of New Jersey’s 18- to 34-year-olds have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 22 percent in the rest of the nation. They’re educated, yet they struggle to find work. New Jersey has the highest unemployment rate in the region and one of the highest rates in the nation at 5.7 percent.

NJ.com reported last year, “The state’s 18- to 34-year-olds still earn more than the rest of the country, with a median income of more than $41,000, but this too has declined in recent years."

How long do we get lectured that in order to get a high paying job, we have to go to go to college and get that degree. Except the equation doesn't make sense.

It costs money to go to college. One spends said money (or accumulates massive student debt) to get the "necessary" education to get a job. One graduates with no jobs in sight. The jobs that are available make it impossible to be independent, let alone pay off huge student loans.

More and more millennials are fleeing New Jersey because, despite doing the "right" thing and getting a higher education, it's almost impossible to get a decent paying job and live on their own afterwards.

Leaving Jersey. That's the smartest thing Millennials can do right now. And that's just sad.

I don't claim to have the answers, but it's a problem that needs to be addressed. Now!

In the meantime, give the Millennials who are busting their asses to have a successful life a break.