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."