While younger people in the millennial and Gen Z age groups report high levels of stress in a recent survey, the COVID-19 pandemic is not necessarily the main reason for that, CNBC reports.
In fact, for some people, the pandemic’s shutdown of the economy and normal life for several months provided time to breathe, with less stress from transportation or having to leave the house for work.
Wesley Richardson, a recent graduate of the University of Southern California, told the network the shutdown had given him time to consider his future after graduating.
“I’ve been thinking about what I want my priorities to be in terms of what I spend my money on once I’m living on my own,” he said, according to CNBC. “Having to sit at home all day and think about what to do with my time has helped me do that … I don’t really care as much about living a lavish lifestyle; I’m just reprioritizing.”
The results come from the 2020 Deloitte Millennial Survey, which takes stock of how young people view the world, business and other things around them. The survey interviewed people in two waves; one from November 2019 to the first week of January 2020, and then a smaller “pulse” survey in April and May of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic radically changed the world.
According to the survey, the number of millennials who reported high levels of stress declined by 8 percent in April and May during the shutdown, as opposed to the first round of surveys. That decline was matched by Gen Z respondents.
But finances are a particular point of concern for both generations. Sixty-seven percent of millennials and 64 percent of Gen Z consumers said finances were a frequent worry for them, and only roughly half believed their financial situations would improve over the next year.
Millennials have been the victim of two separate financial crashes since many of them entered adulthood — the first being the 2008 Great Recession, and now the pandemic. Decades of economic shifts and rising student debt have left millennials with less disposable income and delayed or missed life milestones, PYMNTS reported.
Among those milestones is home ownership, which the pandemic’s mass layoffs have hit the brakes on for many. But high prices were already an issue even before the pandemic.