"Helicopter Parents" Land in the Workplace

Comments Off on "Helicopter Parents" Land in the Workplace
"Helicopter Parents" Land in the Workplace

It might not surprise you to hear that the average parent spends $2,200 per child each year on food, housing, education, and spending money. But, it might startle you to learn that the “children” being supported are aged 18 to 34.

This major trend, called “deferred adulthood,” has been addressed in prior issues. According to a 2004 University of Michigan study, the average 18- to 34-year-old receives $38,000 from his or her parents during those years. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report,1 the number of Americans aged 18 to 34 who are still living with —- and off — their parents has increased by 50 percent since the 1970s.

The Census Bureau reports that even among 25- to 34-year-old Americans, who are typically well beyond their college years, 11 percent still live with their parents. This is a 26 percent increase from the 8.7 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds who lived with their parents in 1980.

In the past few years alone, this trend has been exploding. Craig Brimhall, the vice president of retirement wealth strategies for Ameriprise Financial, found that from the years 2000 to 2004, the number of adult children who lived with their parents and were supported by them soared by almost 70 percent.2

Clearly, today’s young adults are in no hurry to grow up. They are marrying later, taking longer to finish their educations, and waiting until later in life to leave their parents’ homes.

And, when they are finally ready to leave the comfort of their parents’ nest and get a full-time job, they are not suddenly acting like mature, independent adults. Instead, they are taking their parents with them into the job market.

According to The Wall Street Journal,3 several recent episodes highlight this growing trend:

  • At Boeing, a recruit brought his mother into the interview with the hiring manager.
  • At General Electric, when the company extended a job offer to a recruit, the candidate’s mother called the following day to ask for a higher salary for her child.
  • At Enterprise Rent-A-Car, when a recruiting manager was talking on the phone to a candidate about a job, the candidate’s mother picked up an extension and demanded to know what benefits the company was offering.
  • At the Vanguard Group, when the investment management firm makes job offers to college recruits, 70 percent of them respond, “Let me talk to my parents. I’ll get back to you.”
  • At Pella Corporation, the window company’s strategic staffing manager reports receiving calls from parents of candidates, either to complain that their son or daughter should have been hired or to ask for a higher salary...

    To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
    Already a Trends Magazine subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $195/year

  • Get 12 months of Trends that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Trends Research Library
  • Optional Trends monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • Receive our exclusive "Trends Investor Forecast 2015" as a free online gift
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% full refund