More than half of young adults living paycheck to paycheck are caught up in inflation

This is the time when young people are stuck with inflation and rising interest rates. According to the Léger Institute’s study of young adults, more than half of them now live paycheck to paycheck.

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“The impact of the economic environment is being felt at all levels for Generation Z and Millennials,” observe Gabriel Blais and Charlotte Ford, Leger’s research directors.

For example, 51% now live paycheck to paycheck, compared to 47% last year.

According to the results of the annual survey of the National Institute of Payroll and Analysis of Canadian Laboratory, the number of workers receiving paycheck to paycheck will increase by 26% in 2022.

For its youth study, the Léger Institute surveyed more than 3,000 members of Generation Z born after 1995 — and millennials born after 1984.

No more stress

Rising cost of living is reducing the morale of those 40 and under.

62% of them feel helpless in the face of society’s problems (compared to 57% in 2022) and less confident in their ability to face the challenges of their time (41% compared to 47% in 2022).

On a day-to-day basis, the cost of rent becomes a real problem. 72% say this expense takes up too much space in their budget, an increase of 8 percentage points over last year.

“An improvement of 4 percentage points in such a poll is already very significant. So when we talk about 8, we know we are touching something,” explains Mme By Fortin, Leger.

Among millennials and younger “Gen Zs,” 26% have moved in the past 12 months because rental prices have increased. This percentage is 17% in 2022, which is again “very important”.

Fewer trips

But it’s not just rent or mortgage. Charlotte Ford calls them “life’s little pleasures” that take their cool.

The rising cost of living has led young people to change their habits in a variety of spending areas.

67% of them visit restaurants and bars less often, compared to 62% the previous year. They buy less clothing (67% compared to 58% in 2022) and spend less on sports and leisure (59% compared to 51% in 2022).

Three out of four young adults are saving less due to rising prices, 73% of them compared to 67% last year.

“We see an increase everywhere, which leads us to say that they are struggling,” concludes Gabrielle Blais.

In addition to her eight business management courses at CEGEP, 19-year-old Catherine Regimpel works 60 hours a week.

Photo by Frances Hall

Less fun

A trip from magazine At the Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, in Longueuil, he only confirmed the results of Léger’s study.

For example, Cassandra Hache, 28, has returned to study early childhood education technology because her job as a benefactor doesn’t pay enough to live decently.

Photo by Frances Hall

“I live paycheck to paycheck. I work on weekends other than studying. I have to do at least 24 hours to get there,” says the young woman.

With rents rising and groceries now costing a fortune, “it’s getting more and more expensive,” he says.

At 19, Kathryn Regimbel, for her part, studies business management and works a good 60 hours a week.

“I had four jobs last summer. In addition to taking eight courses at CEGEP, I have three more,” she says.

After paying for car insurance and gas, she still can’t afford “luxuries like shopping or going out to restaurants.”

Even if she could, where would she find time to juggle three jobs and full-time education?

– In collaboration with Francis Hall

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