This generation in Canada has felt the financial impact of COVID-19 the most
The health crisis has been economically devastating for businesses and individuals across the country, and we know that for the former group, smaller independent establishments have been hit the hardest.
But which individuals have been most financially impacted?
The virus itself is more prevalent among older people: those 40 and older represent 68 per cent of cases, those 65 and older are considered most at-risk, and more than 80 per cent of deaths nationwide have been in long-term care homes.
But, the economic effects have been the most severe for millennials and Gen Zers.
While COVID-19 is more deadly to older generations, the financial impact of the pandemic is hitting Canadians under 30 (millennials and members of Generation Z) harder than baby boomers (born 1946 to1964) or those identified as part of Generation X (born 1965 to1980). pic.twitter.com/xNmLTZPqtd— Brett Popplewell (@b_popps) May 21, 2020
While the country experiences its second-highest unemployment rate in recorded history, Statistics Canada has found that employment is declining the fastest among young people.
"COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Canada's youth (aged 15 to 24)," a national Labour Force Survey from last month reads. "As a group, they are more likely to hold less secure jobs in hard-hit industries such as accommodation and food services."
Another interesting read. My empathy for Millennials and all those affected by this pandemic grows each day. https://t.co/EMmxWpOYY0— Wayne Hendry (@ideakid88) May 21, 2020
Other similar data from around the world has reiterated that in many countries, young people are the most likely to be suffering financially right now, as they are the ones holding the lowest-paying jobs, which include entry-level positions or hustling to make ends meet in the gig economy.
The fact that wages in some Canadian cities are, on average, going up despite devastating job losses also indicates that those who make more money (i.e. older people) have been the ones able to keep working and getting paid during the pandemic.
There is also the fact that a huge chunk of Canada's millionaires are 65 or older (only 15 per cent are under 45) and the average household net worth for those over 60 is around a million dollars, as people generally accumulate more wealth as they grow older, peaking after 55.
Seriously. 1.5 trillion dollars in student debt, no retirement options, social security about to be slashed by a boomer-elected president, and eight years away from a serious climate-caused disintegration of living systems, but God forbid the kid takes a cheap flight to Cali 1/— Lady No-Kids (@NishkaWolf) March 12, 2020
Coupled with other factors, like student debt and the progressively more overpriced housing and rental markets in major Canadian cities (where house price growth is far outpacing income growth), it seems that the indirect effects of COVID-19 have had the biggest influence on young people.
Millennials also tend to have more issues with mental health right now, and are missing out on transformative life milestones because of the disruption that the pandemic and its economic fallout have caused.
The generation also had to face the post-2008-recession job market while just trying to get started in their careers — so hardship of this type isn't exactly anything new.
“If these millennials stopped buying coffees, they’d be able to afford buying me house off me for 10x what I bought it for. Bastard kids.”— Messer Best (@MesserBest) May 18, 2020
“If these kids just went back to work and stopped being snowflakes, I could go back to my golf club and definitely not die of CV19”
But, given that millennials have long accepted their title as "the screwed generation," this information is perhaps unsurprising — and at least they can use it as fodder for the self-deprecating humour and satirical memes that keep them going.
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