According to Census figures, there are more Millennials still living at home with a parent in New Jersey than in any other state.

Figures show that in 2015 almost half of all those between 18 and 34 in New Jersey were still "at home."

Rutgers economist James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, says there are several reasons for this, including "setbacks in the job market" because of the recession.

He says New Jersey's recovery from the recession has been slower than the nation as a whole. So the job opportunities are not as extensive here as they are in the rest of the country.

Hughes says the other major factor keeping Millennials from spreading their wings is the state's high housing costs. Census figures also released this week point out that New Jersey ranks No. 1 in housing costs. So we have the most expensive shelter in the nation, which makes it difficult for young people to afford rents or down payments toward the purchase of a home.

Hughes adds that Jersey Millennials face another common problem: student debt.

That problem has been estimated to amount to well over a trillion dollars nationwide.

And with each passing year and another wave of graduates, the Jersey job market grows more competitive for younger workers.

The Census figures find the state of Connecticut with the second-highest percentage of Millennials still at home, 42 percent. The national average is just over 33 percent.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at

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