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Does Gen Z Have It the Hardest Economically?

Does Gen Z Have It the Hardest Economically?

Does Gen Z Have It the Hardest Economically?

From accruing massive debt to having a competitive edge in many industries, here are 14 answers to the question, “Do you believe Gen Z has it the hardest economically?”

  • Cost of Living Will Be Outrageous for Most
  • Covid and Economic Outcomes Could Hit Gen Z Harder
  • They Won’t if They Are Patient
  • Their Timing for Opportunities is Better
  • Instant Gratification Addiction Will Be a Struggle
  • Millennials Have It Worse
  • Life Was Affordable for Everyone 50 Years Ago 
  • A Higher Population Causes Rough Competition
  • Social Media Amplifies Society’s Anxiety
  • This Generation Will Change the World
  • They Have Access to Unprecedented Resources and Advantages
  • Technological Advancements Will Yield Enhanced Earnings
  • It’s Difficult, but the Opportunity is There
  • AI Knowledge Will Give Them an Advantage


Cost of Living Will Be Outrageous for Most

One of the key challenges facing Gen Z is the burden of student loan debt. Many members of this generation have had to take on significant debt in order to pursue higher education, which can make it difficult to achieve financial stability and independence. 

In addition, the job market can be highly competitive, and many entry-level positions may not pay a living wage, making it difficult to make ends meet.

Another challenge facing Gen Z is the rising cost of living. Housing costs, for example, have risen significantly in many parts of the world, making it difficult for young people to find affordable housing.

Ilija Sekulov, Marketing and SEO, Mailbutler


Covid and Economic Outcomes Could Hit Gen Z Harder

Each generation believes that it has it worse than the one before it, but Generation Z, the youths who are currently finishing school and joining the workforce, might be onto something. Although it seems ludicrous, Gen Z does indeed struggle more than earlier generations. 

The Covid-19 pandemic upended their high school and university experiences, and now that they’re seeking to launch their professions, they are facing an unsteady economic environment in which a recession is most probable. Both experiences have the potential to be life-changing. 

Lower incomes for years may result from graduating amid a recession. A university term controlled by Covid-19 deprives students of crucial socialization opportunities and the ability to learn time management and adult interaction skills.

Samantha Odo, Real Estate Expert and Chief Operating Officer, Precondo


They Won’t if They Are Patient

Undoubtedly, those leaving college do so with higher debts than before, and when they come to invest in their first home, the expenses they face can be staggering. 

However, Gen Z is still young, and most of them have not started house-hunting yet. The things that matter to them right now are more accessible than ever before, and as a result, the cost is much lower. 

Whereas Boomers, and Millennials to a certain extent, had to save for months, or even years, for a foreign vacation, Gen Z can often reach their goal on a single monthly paycheck. 

If they want to hear the latest song by their favorite band, all they need to do is log in to YouTube; there is no need to buy the physical product. By the time they need to worry about major financial decisions, all may well have leveled up again.

Colin Palfrey, Chief Marketing Officer, Crediful


Their Timing for Opportunities is Better

Gen Z does not have it the hardest economically. Gen X is more likely to struggle financially because of their low wages preventing retirement savings growth and increased debt levels causing a wealth gap. 

Millennials  too may lack certain financial resources because of student loan debts they accrued while in college or university. 

Despite these factors, Gen Z has access to opportunities that allow them to invest smarter at an earlier age than some previous generations—particularly peer-to-peer lending platforms. Those aged 18 and above can invest small denominations into loans used by relatively smaller businesses, creating an avenue for Gen Z to take part actively in their own economic decisions.

Kate Duske, Editor-in-Chief, Escape Room Data


Instant Gratification Addiction Will Be a Struggle

Gen Z has it the hardest economically because they are the first generation to have grown up in the digital age. 

Because they have grown up in the digital age, they have become accustomed to instant gratification: they want what they want when they want it, and they are not willing to wait for it. For this reason, it is harder for them to stay a long time in a company or work on the same project, and that is why it will be hard for them to grow in the long term.

As a result, Gen Z is more susceptible to economic downturns and inflation because they are more likely to buy now rather than save for later.

Luciano Colos, Founder and CEO, PitchGrade


Millennials Have It Worse

If we were to say who is struggling the most financially, it is probably millennials. When you land a job in a company, the salary increase is usually a percentage of your initial salary. Even if you get promoted, it is still based on the salary you started with. 

That means that your starting salary—which you received years ago during completely different financial times—ends up determining your salary for the rest of your career if you decide to stay in your company. 

That means that Gen Z’s starting salary could be equivalent to a senior millennial’s, as they ask for a higher salary to begin with. While inflation is rising, millennials are stuck with lower salaries, unless they move to another company, which could be quite risky during difficult times.

Denise Hemke, Chief Product Officer, Checkr


Life Was Affordable for Everyone 50 Years Ago 

Inflation is no joke—real estate prices have increased 920% since the 1970s, and that is only one example. The pricing of just about anything is 7.71 times higher than the average 50 years ago. It is becoming significantly more difficult to afford things that were once normal for the generations before Gen Z. 

A lot of older generations—mainly the parents and grandparents of the Gen Z population, bought and owned their own land in their 20s, whereas now, that is nearly impossible with the salaries and cost of living. 

Arguably, salary increases and inflation have not increased at the same pace, creating the financial challenges that Gen Z is now facing. So yes, in one way, Gen Z probably has it the hardest economically, especially post-pandemic when the economy is still recovering, and jobs aren’t as abundant as they were before (which they weren’t).

Derek Sall, Founder and Financial Expert, Life and My Finances


A Higher Population Causes Rough Competition

The growing population makes it hard for Gen Z adults, or “Zoomers,” to accomplish more. Although they can access a broader range of information, educational resources, and career opportunities, the competition is also tighter. 

Population in the U.S. spiked from 76.3 million to 336 million over the past century. Skilled, educated Zoomers end up with low-paying jobs, cramped studio apartments, and tens of thousands of student loans because they compete for limited assets. 

Another factor to consider is that Zoomers have higher standards of “quality living.” In the 1900s, people lived pretty modest lives. They typically spent most of their money on food and housing, but nowadays, the average middle-class worker’s expenses comprise almost equal parts of entertainment, clothing, transportation, food, and housing.

Mark Damsgaard, Partner and Head of Client Advisory, Global Residence Index


Social Media Amplifies Society’s Anxiety

With skyrocketing student loan debts, high unemployment rates, and the increasing cost of living, it’s easy to argue that they have it the hardest economically. 

However, it’s important to note that every generation faces its own set of challenges, and Gen Z’s resilience and adaptability will help them navigate the economic landscape.

James Scott, Founder, Embassy Row Project


This Generation Will Change the World

Gen Z is the generation that embraces critical thinking. They have businesses rethinking how they hire employees, and how they care for the environment and humanity. Gen Z will not fall for anything they don’t see as beneficial to humanity. They are inclusive and don’t want hate shoved down their throats. 

This generation looks at character and business ethics when they decide to embrace a company or an idea, and they are not afraid to be entrepreneurs. People in this age group can think creatively and unconventionally, which allows them to dominate social media and other newer industries. 

They will work a conventional job to gain capital, then spire off to fulfill their dreams. They know how to manage, manipulate, and grow money. Businesses are catering to Gen Z because they need their creativity in business. You go, Gen Z!

Beth Smith, Life Coach and Owner, Thriving With Resilience


They Have Access to Unprecedented Resources and Advantages

As someone who’s been working for 40 years, my answer to this question is a resounding NO. Gen Z has access to unprecedented resources and advantages, despite economic pressures and unique circumstances. 

Technology has enabled instant access to information and communication tools, opening up novel markets for businesses and job opportunities. 

Social media platforms allow for faster message spreading, providing leverage in marketing campaigns or product launches. 

Education is now more accessible through distance learning and virtual education. 

Gen Z also has access to more banking products because of Fintech companies, allowing them to save money faster and with greater convenience. 

The booming economy of the last decade has allowed them to start businesses, invest in stocks, and pursue careers without needing large amounts of capital or resources.

Bruce Kramer, Managing Partner, HD Buttercup Venues

Technological Advancements Will Yield Enhanced Earnings

With inflation and economic crises across the globe, we often hear that Gen Z has it hard economically. However, that is not the case; if we embrace technological advancements, we can counter this economic crisis and move towards stability, which was not possible before.

We connect to each other more than ever before through the internet, and it has brought in a lot of opportunities to grab. Freelancing is one of them, which was not a reality in the 1900s. 

Despite having inflation and economic crises, Gen Z has the doors open to earn big and expand their revenue through technology, which counters the problems they face.

Asim Rais Siddiqui, Co-Founder and CTO, TekRevol


It’s Difficult, but the Opportunity is There

Gen-Z and younger generations looking to get started in the investment world definitely have had an uphill battle, especially over the last 3 years. 

The real estate market has been so difficult to get into and it doesn’t look like it will get easier soon. Even as home prices drop, interest rates increase and they counteract each other to keep things out of reach for Gen Z, who are desperate to purchase a home and start contributing to a major investment.

While things are more accessible than ever, the market has been in a freefall over the last few years and Gen Z are basically watching their money disappear, which is frustrating.

If Gen Z is patient, they can use the stock market for positive investments. With prices low, they can invest money now and watch it increase over the next 5 years. If they play it smart, they could turn some money into a nice investment using apps that are available to them.

Donny Gamble, Founder, Retirement Investments


AI Knowledge Will Give Them an Advantage

While Gen Z certainly faces challenges such as rising student loan debt and a competitive job market, they also have access to unique opportunities and advantages. 

For example, Gen Z is the most diverse generation in American history, and this diversity can be a source of strength in the workplace. 

Gen Z has grown up with technology and is highly adept at using digital tools, which can give them a competitive edge in many industries.

Sven Patzer, CEO, Hype Snagger


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