Young Canadians are more likely to stress about money

HANNA PETERSEN — Over the Edge (University of Northern British Columbia)

Having more than change in their pockets is a concern for younger generations.

Having more than change in their pockets is a concern for younger generations.

PRINCE GEORGE (CUP) — An online poll conducted by Sun Life Financial has found that young adults are more prone to stressing about money than anyone else as they struggle to find decent employment.

In a press release from Sun Life, it was announced that the survey found nine out of 10 respondents aged 18 to 24 experience “uncomfortable” levels of stress, with money and work being two of the largest factors.

Those in the next age brackets aren’t much better off, with 80 per cent of respondents aged between 25 and 44 indicating they are also stressed from jobs and financial concerns. The poll showed that younger Canadians are feeling greater financial stress than those of the baby boomer generation.

The survey notes that the unemployment rate for those under 25 sits at 15 per cent — double the national average.

Louis Theriault, the director of health economics for the Conference Board of Canada, an independent applied research not-for-profit organization, said the country’s young adults are struggling.

“It’s more difficult for young Canadians to find permanent full-time jobs that suit their skills and areas of study. Recent job creation has been dominated by part time work — which is becoming a trend in Canada,” Theriault said in the press release. “This impacts younger workers in particular and contributes to their higher stress levels.”

Finding suitable employment after graduation is the main goal of nearly every university student. However, it is easier said than done in the current economic climate. Adding to the employment uncertainty facing youth is the tremendous weight of student debt that is persistently haunting the majority of graduates.

“We’re concerned to see the impact of economic instability on young Canadians with nine in 10 feeling excessively stressed,” said Kevin Dougherty, president of Sun Life Financial Canada, in the release.

“This finding is consistent with what we are seeing in our disability claims business. For Canadians age 30 and under, 40 per cent of their long term disability claims relate to mental health.”

The Sun Life Canadian Health Index survey was compiled by research company Ipsos Reid and looked at attitudes toward healthy lifestyles. It intended to show the impact the global financial crisis has had on the mental health of Canadians and received 3,113 responses from Canadians across the country.


Photo: triviaqueen/flickr