A third of young people feel more anxious now than they did at this time last year, according to a study that found the prospect of a UK exit from the European Union, financial worries and housing costs have heightened doubts about future prospects.
The growing fear comes with numbers showing that around half of young people are struggling to make ends meet, including 10% of young people who face serious financial problems as wages stagnate and their incomes rise affect.
Just a week after senior MPs called for an independent review of Britain’s soaring debt, the Young Women’s Trust said many of the 4,000 young people ages 16-30 it surveyed for its annual Worrying Times report were struggling to get it in the end of the month without borrowing money from friends, family, or commercial lenders.
The report found that 41% of young women and 28% of young men said it was “a real struggle to make their money by the end of the month,” compared to 39% and 27% in 2016, respectively.
The report’s authors said: âOur results show that young women are consistently more likely than young men to face money problems, discrimination in the workplace, health problems, concerns about the future and low self-confidence.
“And women from the lowest socio-economic groups are even worse off, their situation has also deteriorated in the last 12 months.”
The Young Women’s Trust said some measures of financial anxiety and well-being among the under-30s have rebounded slightly since last year when the survey recorded a major collapse in financial confidence.
But as of July, when the survey was conducted, almost half of young people (47%) still said they were worried about the future.
When asked what, if anything, made them anxious, the reasons most often cited, chosen from a number of options, were the UK’s exit from the European Union (42%), the ability to join in the future Being able to afford a home (41%), their current financial situation (37%), not earning enough to live on (35%) and finding work (34%).
The Princes Trust youth welfare organization said the survey showed that practical and financial pressures were mounting on young people.
“This clearly puts a strain on their hopes and wishes for the future, especially among young women,” it said.
Last week, the Chairs of the Special Committee on Business Rachel Reeves and Frank Field, Chair of the Labor and Pensions Committee, urged the government to launch an independent public inquiry into the Â£ 200 billion household debt accumulated.
Prominent Labor MPs said they were shocked by rising indebtedness, especially among young people, while Conservative Chair of the Treasury’s Special Committee, Nicky Morgan, said she wanted her colleagues to investigate âwhat our budgets are all about has to pile up the debt â. .
Concerns about rising debt levels were underscored by reports from debt relief organizations Citizens Advice and StepChange, which saw an increase in the number of young people seeking help with bad debts.
Citizens Advice said the inability to deal with payday loans and other forms of high-priced credit was one of the main reasons behind the influx of distressed young people seeking advice.
StepChange reported that in the first half of 2017 almost two thirds (64%) of all advice seekers were under 40 years of age. In 2013, only 53% were between 18 and 40 years old.
Young Women’s Trust Executive Director Carole Easton said, âThe traditional stereotype of youthful boasting and optimism seems to have been replaced by worry and fear. Perhaps not surprising when you consider that young people face serious financial difficulties and uncertainties about their future. “
Lindsay Owen, director of policy and evaluation at The Prince’s Trust, said, “It is critically important that these young people are empowered to develop the confidence and coping skills they need to succeed in their jobs, education or training.”