Economic precariousness and living in the parental home in the UK

Publication type

Research Paper


Ann Berrington, Peter Tammes and Steven Roberts

Publication date

Series Number



Today’s young adults are facing increased economic uncertainty as a result of unemployment, the continued growth of low-paid, insecure and often part-time employment, accelerated by the recent economic downturn. Recent media attention has focused on the trend for increased co-residence of adult children with their parent(s). It is generally assumed that this trend relates directly to the increased economic uncertainty of young adults, combined with the challenges of affordability in the housing market. This research is motivated by the need to identify which groups are most at risk of economic uncertainty and to investigate the consequences for young adults’ abilities to make successful transitions to adulthood. The paper contributes to the literature on both youth employment and housing transitions and the intersection of both.
The aim of the paper is three fold: 1) To explore how different aspects of precariousness (labour market insecurity, employment insecurity, and income insecurity) can be operationalised using quantitative data; 2) To use these indicators to provide estimates of precarity amongst young men and women aged 18-34; 3) To examine how these indicators are related to the likelihood of living in the parental home. We use data from the first wave of the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) which was conducted in 2009/10, at the height of the economic downturn. By disaggregating analyses by gender and age we get beneath aggregate summary statistics and provide new insights into how young people’s experience of employment changes across the transition from older teenager, to those in their twenties and for those in their early thirties.


Young People, Households, Economics and Housing Market



Is referenced by: Hamilton, C. (2018) Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study – Written evidence (IFP0021) [House of Lords Select Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision]. London: Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. Select Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision.