The Comeback Generation: Pandemic is inspiring Gen Z to build financial resilience

The coronavirus pandemic has tested the limits of Canadians over the past 20 months. What began as a health crisis quickly morphed into an economic crisis, with the spread of COVID‑19 shocking large segments of the economy and leaving many without paycheques. While no generation has been unaffected by the pandemic, the economic impact was distributed unevenly. Many younger Canadians in Generation Z, or Gen Z, have had their education disrupted, career plans changed, and financial prospects diminished largely because they are overrepresented in the highly affected service sector, according to a new survey by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA).

The survey was published to mark Financial Literacy Month, which takes place each November, and found that more than half (53 per cent) of Gen Z respondents (aged 18‑25) felt the pandemic upended their financial security, with that number rising to 73 per cent for those in less stable financial situations. At the same time, nine‑in‑ten (88 per cent) Gen Zers are feeling optimistic about their financial futures, and nearly all of them (98 per cent) are actively making plans to strengthen their financial resilience.

"Gen Z was dealt a disproportionately tough hand during the pandemic, but it has also shown incredible resilience in channeling its natural gifts for perseverance, adaptability and motivation," says Neil Parmenter, President and CEO, Canadian Bankers Association. "Despite the setbacks, younger Canadians are eager to forge ahead, be prepared for the unexpected and build bright futures as our economy recovers."



The Financial Resilience and Financial Well-Being of Canadians with Low Incomes (detailed)

The financial resilience and financial well-being of Canadians with low incomes: Insights and analysis to support the financial empowerment sector detailed report, provides data and insights on the financial impact of the pandemic on Canadians with low incomes and their financial health, resilience and financial well-being in June 2021 compared to June 2018. The report is authored by Seymour Management Consulting Inc., the leading independent authority on financial health in Canada. Data levers the Seymour Financial Resilience Index ™ and five years’ of national longitudinal Financial Well-Being studies data. 

 

The report, commissioned by Prosper Canada and the ABLE Financial Empowerment Network, is relevant for Governments, Financial Institutions, NPOs, organizations and leaders working to help improve the financial well-being of Canadians. It paints a stark picture on the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on low-income Canadians and those who are more financially vulnerable. The Index, with a pre-pandemic baseline of February 2020, is complemented with targeted analysis of June 2021 and June 2018 Financial Well-Being studies. Data also relates to impacts on well-being dimensions and challenges in accessing support from Financial Institutions and NPOs. 

 

Read the summary report, The Financial Resilience and Financial Well-Being of Canadians with Low Incomes (summary)