Why Austin? Millennials Say Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

January 30, 2018 at 9:00 AM Eastern

The booming local job market is drawing millennials to Austin more so than any other factor, according to the new Better Money Habits® Millennial Report released by Bank of America today. The report, which surveyed 23- to 37-year-olds, found that 55 percent of millennials in Austin say that employment opportunities are a top benefit to living in the city, while only 39 percent of millennials nationally say the same about the place where they live.

On the flip side, when asked to name their top obstacles to financial freedom, 66 percent of Austin millennials say housing costs, followed by day-to-day living expenses (47 percent). In general, 63 percent of Austin millennials say they feel secure in their financial future, compared to 59 percent nationally.

New, flexible job opportunities may be one reason; 33 percent of Austin millennials say they are part of the gig economy (meaning they take on short-term contracts or freelance work), versus 26 percent of millennials nationally, and 29 percent expect to have eight or more jobs in their lifetime, compared to 23 percent nationally.

“It’s a good time to live and work in Austin – and the young adults here realize that,” said David Bader, region executive, Bank of America. “Job opportunities of all kinds are growing, but at the same time, so are housing costs and day-to-day living costs. That’s putting extra pressure on them to make smart financial choices. Through Better Money Habits, we offer resources like our Spending and Budgeting tool that can help take some of the confusion and stress out of money management.”

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.

Despite high cost of living, majority of millennials in Austin are managing to save

Even with the high cost of living in Austin, the majority of millennials here are saving and budgeting on a level that’s on par with or better than their peers across the country.

Sixty percent of Austin millennials are saving – roughly even with the national rate of 63 percent. Their top reasons for saving are to have an emergency fund (59 percent), retirement (51 percent) and vacation/travel (45 percent). Fifty-nine percent of Austin millennials budget – somewhat more than millennials nationally (54 percent) – and 66 percent of Austin millennials stick to their budget every month or most months.

At the same time, 37 percent of millennials in Austin say they worry often about finances, while 25 percent of their peers nationally say the same. Asked to name their top financial stressors, Austin millennials say not putting enough money into savings (34 percent), credit card debt (23 percent) and not planning and saving enough for retirement (23 percent).

Nearly one-third of Austin millennial couples handle finances separately; one in five don’t know spouse’s salary

At home, many millennial couples in Austin choose to keep their finances separate. Thirty-one percent of millennial couples in Austin do so, and 22 percent don't know their spouse/partner’s salary.

Among millennial parents in Austin, 33 percent say financial considerations played a major role in their decision to start a family. This is on par with other millennials nationwide but contrasts with older generations: 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:
Britney Sheehan, Bank of America
Phone: 1.425.467.9744