For Pittsburgh Millennials, Gig Economy Is the New Normal

January 30, 2018 at 9:00 AM Eastern

The gig economy is thriving for millennials in Pittsburgh, according to the new Better Money Habits® Millennial Report released today by Bank of America. Thirty-seven percent of millennials here consider themselves to be part of the gig economy (meaning they take on short-term contracts or freelance work) – more than the national average of 26 percent. The report, which surveyed 23- to 37-year-olds, also found that one in five millennials in Pittsburgh expects to have eight or more jobs in their lifetime.

“Short-term freelance jobs can be a viable source of employment for those who need it,” said Brian Ludwick, Pittsburgh market president, Bank of America. “At the same time, this new job landscape is complicated, especially when it comes to financial factors to consider and manage. Through Better Money Habits tools and information, we’re giving young adults the resources and confidence they need to navigate it.”

Better Money Habits is Bank of America’s free financial education platform. It features easy-to-understand information and tools to navigate personal finance topics like spending and budgeting, home ownership, taxes and income, and more. The Better Money Habits Millennial Report explores millennials’ views on personal finance matters to give insight into the unique financial milestones they experience as young adults. This is the fifth installment of the report, which has been published since 2014.

Pittsburgh millennials see low cost of living among the top benefits to living here but still feel stressed about money

When asked to name the biggest benefits to living here, Pittsburgh millennials say that being close to family and friends (62 percent), a low cost of living (39 percent) and employment opportunities (26 percent) are the top benefits.

On the flip side, Pittsburgh millennials say day-to-day living expenses (55 percent) and housing costs (34 percent) are their biggest obstacles to financial freedom. In general, Pittsburgh millennials worry more about their finances than their peers nationwide. Thirty-four percent of Pittsburgh millennials report that they worry often about finances, compared to 25 percent of their peers nationwide. Asked to name their top financial stressors, Pittsburgh millennials say not putting enough money into savings (38 percent), not planning/saving for retirement (25 percent) and their career path (24 percent).

Despite financial pressures, majority are saving and budgeting

Despite the stress they are feeling, millennials in Pittsburgh are still managing to budget and save at a level that’s consistent with millennials across the country.

  • Sixty-four percent of Pittsburgh millennials are saving. Their top reasons for saving are to have an emergency fund (55 percent), retirement (48 percent) and vacation/travel (38 percent).

  • Fifty-five percent have a savings goal and of those who do, 62 percent usually meet it.

  • Sixty-two percent of Pittsburgh millennials plan and manage a budget, and 65 percent say they stick to their budget every month or least most months.

Finances are a major factor for millennial parents in Pittsburgh – more so than others nationwide

Pittsburgh millennials who are parents were more likely than their national peers to consider finances to be an important factor when thinking about having children. Thirty-nine percent say that financial considerations played a major role in their decision to start a family, while 30 percent of millennial parents nationally say the same. This contrasts with older generations who were much less likely to say money was a major factor: only 22 percent of Gen Xers and 9 percent of baby boomers nationally said the same.

Report methodology

Bank of America commissioned a survey of 1,500 respondents, ages 18 to 71, to explore their views on personal financial matters. The survey was conducted online in English and Spanish during the period of September 22–October 16, 2017. Interviews were conducted by GfK Public Communications and Social Science, using GfK’s KnowledgePanel®, a statistically representative sample source used to yield results that are projectable to the American population. The margin of sampling error for national data is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. An augment sample of approximately 2,025 additional interviews was also included to bring the millennials found in the national sample up to 300 completes each in six DMA markets including Austin, Texas; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; San Diego, Calif.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Denver, Colo.; and Seattle, Wash. Margin of error for the DMA augments are higher than that of the national sample.

Better Money Habits®

At Bank of America, we’re committed to helping people lead better financial lives by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed. That’s why we created Better Money Habits, a financial education platform of tools and information that helps people make sense of their money and take action to improve. As a cornerstone of Better Money Habits, we offer free financial education content and tools that break down financial topics in a way that’s digestible, approachable and tailored. We also work with the education nonprofit Khan Academy on a video series for young adults focused on career-related financial topics. We continually look for ways to expand the reach of Better Money Habits and over the course of 2018 will offer Spanish language resources on the site.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,500 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 35 million active users, including approximately 24 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

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Reporters May Contact:
Vanessa Cook, Bank of America
Phone: 1.980.683.2247