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Are young Aussies being left behind in the pandemic financial recovery?

  • April 14 2022
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Are young Aussies being left behind in the pandemic financial recovery?

By Jon Bragg
April 14 2022

A new survey suggests that the financial wellbeing of Aussies under 25 has not recovered, unlike every other age group.

pandemic financial recovery

Are young Aussies being left behind in the pandemic financial recovery?

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  • April 14 2022
  • Share

A new survey suggests that the financial wellbeing of Aussies under 25 has not recovered, unlike every other age group.

pandemic financial recovery

The latest ANZ Roy Morgan Financial Indicator has revealed that the financial wellbeing of Australians increased by 2.8 per cent between March and December last year, with improvements across all age groups except for those aged 14 to 24.

Financial wellbeing, as measured by a score out of 100, increased from 57.5 in March to 59.1 in December for the overall population. In contrast, the financial wellbeing score for Aussies aged 14 to 24 remained flat at 50.9.

This age group was found to have suffered the largest decline in financial wellbeing after the first year of the pandemic, with a 7.3 per cent fall from 54.9 in March 2020.

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“The ANZ Roy Morgan Financial Wellbeing Indicator provides us with valuable insights into the financial wellbeing of Australians, as well as their financial confidence, attitudes and behaviours,” said ANZ lead social impact research & reporting Natalie Paine.

“There are many reasons younger Australians are taking longer to recover financially from the pandemic. Many have lost confidence in managing their money and are more likely to say they would have difficulty coping with a demanding job, compared to the general population.”

Between March and December last year, the number of young Aussies who said they were feeling comfortable rose 1.5 per cent, however there were also falls recorded in the measures of resilience for the future (-1.5 per cent) and meeting everyday commitments (-0.5 per cent).

“This suggests that while people aged 14-24 years are overall somewhat more positive about their financial situation compared to a year ago, having some optimism for the future, meeting bills can still be a struggle for some, and concerns remain about their ability to sustain further financial shocks as savings may have been drawn on during almost two years of frequent public health restrictions,” said ANZ.

The bank highlighted that 23.4 per cent of Aussies in this age group were employed in the sectors most impacted by the pandemic such as retail and hospitality compared to 11.2 per cent of the wider population, which it said was likely a factor in the slower recovery.

The percentage of all Aussies who said they felt financially stable fell from 59.0 per cent in March to 57.4 per cent in December, however an even greater fall was recorded for the 14-24 age group from 50.7 per cent down to 46.2 per cent.

Additionally, only 57.3 per cent of these younger Aussies said they felt confident about managing their finances versus 74.1 per cent of the total population.

“The experience of the pandemic for younger Australians aged 14-24 years, has also affected their attitudes in other aspects of their lives including their attitudes to work, socialising and their overall mental health,” ANZ noted.

“Those aged 14-24 years were more likely to agree they would have difficulty coping with a demanding job and more likely to agree they like to shut themselves off from the rest of the world, compared to the general population.”

Aussies aged 65 and above saw the greatest improvement in financial wellbeing between March and December last year (4.1 per cent) while a rise was recorded in every state and territory, ranging from 4.5 per cent in the ACT and 4.0 per cent in Tasmania to 0.2 per cent in South Australia.

Western Australia was also found to be the only state where financial wellbeing returned to the levels seen before the pandemic.

Are young Aussies being left behind in the pandemic financial recovery?
pandemic financial recovery
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