Young woman talking to parents.
Gen Z and millennial adults are struggling to achieve the same goals their parents did when they first ventured into the workforce.
For example, 55% of young adults surveyed find it “much more difficult” to buy a house, 44% said it is more difficult to find a job, and 55% said it is more difficult to get a promotion, according to a Youth & Money in the American Poll study conducted by CNBC and Generation Lab.
The survey was conducted among 1,039 people aged 18 to 34 in the United States from October 25 to 30.
“It’s just a snapshot of how young people view their lives compared to their parents’ lives,” said Cyrus Beschloss, founder of Generation Lab, an organization that has built the largest database of respondents from young people in America.
On the positive side, the survey found that 40% of Gen Z and millennials say it is easier for them to find economic opportunities outside of traditional employment.
The nature of work was changing even before the Covid-19 pandemic, said certified financial planner Blair duQuesnay, a senior advisor at Ritholtz Wealth Management in New Orleans.
“The baby boom generation went to work for a company and, for [of] “In some cases, they stayed in the same job for their entire career and retired with a pension — that doesn’t exist anymore,” said duQuesnay, who is also a member of CNBC’s Financial Advisory Council.
While these opportunities may not lead to the kind of stability that will allow young adults to buy a home, there are “glimmers of optimism” emerging, “despite pessimism about the nation and the world.” , added Beschloss.
“Glimmers of optimism”
About 50% believe inflation will have a very negative impact on their future financial well-being, according to the U.S. Youth & Money poll. However, it could be a response to the current economic landscape.
“Inflation has been the main media narrative over the past year,” the CFP said. Douglas A. Boneparth, president and founder of Bone Fide Wealth in New York. “We are bombarded with headlines about inflation, and we see inflation when we pay at the grocery store.”
On the positive side, Generation Lab’s Beschloss said there is “hope in this data.”
For example, student debt does not cause 65% of Gen Z and millennials to delay major life decisions, like getting married, starting a family or buying a home, according to the report.
At this point, 68% of respondents estimate they have less than $20,000 in outstanding debt, including credit cards and student loans, which is “promising to hear,” duQuesnay said.
Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, a majority, 43%, of young workers feel quite loyal to their employer.
“We have this perception of the Gen Z worker who cynically goes to work, cashing in on their paycheck so they can have a good quality of life, ‘quietly quit’ and do all these other things,” Beschloss said.
While such loyalty among younger workers may be “shocking,” it shows that employers “have done everything possible to improve employee morale,” duQuesnay said.
Generation Z, millennials and the stock market
The majority of young people questioned, i.e. 63%, believe that the stock market is a good place to create wealth and invest. However, since Gen Z and millennials saw wealth and financial stability “being shaken by a kind of macroeconomic earthquake,” according to Beschloss, 37% of them think otherwise.
Distrust of the stock market may be linked to the education of young adults, which may have “blown a huge crater in their brains in terms of their trust in the stock market,” he said. he adds.
“Experiencing the 2008 financial crisis as a child is probably a very formative experience,” duQuesnay said. “I’ve talked to Gen Z investors who remember their parents losing their jobs or their homes.”
Additionally, the birth and rise of cryptocurrency provides an “opt-out option from traditional financial systems,” added Boneparth, who is also a member of the CNBC FA Council.
It will take time for younger investors to see compounding returns in the stock market, especially since those who joined the market in 2021 may have quickly seen those gains erased by a bear market in 2022, duQuesnay added.
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