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Insight of the Day: ‘I cannot afford to live’: Gen Z is full of financial angst despite inheriting a golden job market

Gen Z, the generation born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, is entering adulthood during what is considered one of the strongest job markets in US history. Despite the favorable economic conditions, many Gen Z individuals are facing financial strain and anxiety. Here are some key points highlighted in the article:

1. Financial Challenges: Despite entering the workforce in a robust economy with higher wages and lower unemployment rates compared to previous generations, Gen Z is grappling with financial difficulties. Rising inflation, particularly in essentials like food and housing, has put a strain on their ability to afford basic necessities.

2. Housing Affordability: Homeownership is a significant challenge for younger workers, as high housing costs and limited access to property ownership options make it difficult for Gen Z to build wealth through real estate. Many are struggling to find affordable housing options, which impacts their financial stability.

3. Social Media Influence: Gen Z has a strong presence on social platforms, where they share their financial struggles and seek advice or support from peers. The ability to publicly express financial angst and compare themselves to others with generational wealth adds to their financial stress and anxiety.

4. Mental Health Impact: Gen Z individuals are reporting higher rates of anxiety, depression, and distress compared to other age groups. Limited access to affordable behavioral health care and the reliance on social media platforms for support indicate a significant mental health challenge within this generation.

5. Inflation Expectations: Gen Z's expectations of continued high inflation rates can have a negative impact on economic outlook and spending behavior. When consumers anticipate prices to remain high, it can contribute to a cycle of persistent inflation.

6. Learning from Millennials: While Millennials also faced financial challenges, including stagnant wages and high levels of debt, they have made progress in areas like retirement savings and wage growth over time. Gen Z individuals can draw some lessons from the experiences of Millennials in navigating economic hardships and working towards financial stability.

Overall, the article highlights the financial angst and challenges faced by Gen Z despite the favorable job market conditions. The generation's struggles with inflation, housing affordability, and mental health underscore the need for financial support and solutions to address their unique financial needs and concerns.


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