Last week, my friend, photo editor Mike Ip at Newsweek, assigned me to find and photograph millennials in the Chicago area who currently live at home. The Great Recession has drastically altered the financial and social calculus for many of my generation whose careers do not fall under the corporate or finance realm (albeit in the early days of the Great Recession, these industries took a significant hit as well). While the U.S. government monthly jobs report show ever increasing employment numbers, behind these uplifting stats belies an uncomfortable truth that many of these jobs are part-time and offer few, if any benefits. Consequently, the independence of American adult life as it was known in the postwar period whereby you turn 18 and are on your own is not totally at play any more as many, many young people lean on family in various ways, from shelter to mealtime. As someone who has spent about one-fifth of my life in various European countries where this is quite the norm unless economic circumstances forces you abroad in search of better employment opportunities and salaries, I actually think the outcome of a less independent, wholly selfish society could potentially be very positive.
The pictures below ran online on the Newsweek website. Special thanks to Jake Armstrong, David Braun, Clayton Hauck, and Gigi Silverstein-Tapp for trusting me to bother your people with my camera.