NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — The economic downturn in 2008 and the economy's slow recovery may be doing more than hindering young adults from finding a job ¬— it also may be hurting them from advancing in their job.

According to a new study, Baby Boomers are still in many top positions and may be delaying retirement due to the sluggish economy — preventing Gen-Yers from moving into management roles. The percentage of Gen Y workers managing people declined from 15% in 2012 to 12% in 2013.

Also, due to the economic collapse, Gen-Yers — also called Millennials and a reference to those who were born between 1982 and 2002 — are starting their professional lives later, said the study by compensation database PayScale and consulting firm Millenial Branding.

"Similar to other studies, our research reinforces that the sluggish and uncertain economy has made a significant impact on the perspectives and experiences of not only Generation Y, but also Generation X and Baby Boomers," said Katie Bardaro, economist for PayScale.

The new research shows most Gen Y workers (56%) are more likely to work at small firms — those with fewer than 100 employees — than either Gen-Xers, 48%, or Baby Boomers, 50%. Millennials also are most likely to move back home with their parents due to financial hardship after starting their careers. Almost 30% of Gen-Yers move back home, while only 11% of Gen-Xers — those born between 1965 and 1981 — and 5% of Baby Boomers do likewise.

"The economy has delayed their careers and their personal independence and forced them to work harder than previous generations just to catch up," said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success (St. Martin's Press, 2013).

"They are taking on multiple jobs to pay back student loans and are being forced to create their own careers instead of relying on companies to do it for them," Schawbel said.

Schawbel said it's going to take Gen-Yers longer to reach management positions, because Baby Boomers also have faced the same economy and it's delayed their retirement plans. However, in the next five years 16% of the workforce will retire, so eventually there will be a lot of Gen Y managers and many won't be fully ready to take on the management roles because they will be forced into them, he added.

The study's numbers also reveal a small amount of dissatisfaction among all generations with their jobs. According to the research, 9% of Baby Boomers wish they could change their boss, while 7% of Gen-Xers and 6% of Millennials wish similar.

Gen-Yers, however, also report the lowest levels of both job satisfaction and meaning, while still reporting the lowest levels of job stress.