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Survey Says Gen Zs Turning Down Jobs Due to Commute and Uniform Costs

Despite securing job offers after rigorous interviews, members of Generation Z (Gen Z) are finding themselves compelled to decline employment opportunities due to the financial burden associated with starting a new job, according to recent research.

Survey Highlights Growing Concerns

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A survey conducted among over 2,000 individuals aged 16 to 25 in the United Kingdom for The Prince’s Trust annual NatWest Youth Index 2024 has highlighted the growing concerns of young adults regarding the cost of living, leading to anxiety about their future and hindering their career aspirations.

Expense of Getting a Job

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From expenses related to acquiring a new work uniform or appropriate attire to the cost of transportation to the workplace, these financial burdens are taking a toll.

One Out of Ten Faces These Issues

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Astonishingly, one out of every ten unemployed Gen Z individuals has been forced to reject job offers due to these financial constraints.

Financial Worries Weigh on Gen Z

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The survey also revealed that confidence in financial matters among Gen Z has reached its lowest level since the index began tracking the well-being of young people in the UK over the past 15 years.

Half of Gen Zer’s Worried About Financial Security

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Over half of the surveyed respondents expressed fear that they may never achieve financial security, and the mere thought of money is a source of stress for more than a third of them.

Gender Disparities in Financial Concerns

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The financial concerns among Gen Z are particularly acute among young women, with 60% expressing apprehension that the escalating cost of living will impede their journey toward financial stability.

Youngsters Feel They Can’t Support a Family

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Additionally, half of the surveyed young women fear that their income may not be sufficient to support a family, whereas approximately 45% of young men share these concerns.

Turning to TikTok for Financial Advice

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As the financial challenges facing Gen Z persist, a growing number of individuals within this age group are seeking financial guidance on social media platforms, with TikTok being a prominent source.

Loud Budgeting and Other Lessons

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The research indicates that the number of 16-25-year-olds turning to TikTok for lessons in “loud budgeting” and other financial topics has doubled since 2022.

The Impact on Mental Health

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The Prince’s Trust warns that the current economic climate is having “drastic consequences” on the confidence, well-being, and future aspirations of young individuals seeking employment, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Troubling Cycle of Mental Health Issues

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The strain on mental health among unemployed youth is resulting in a troubling cycle where unemployment negatively affects mental health, and mental health, in turn, impedes the ability to work.

Mental Health Challenges

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A significant 40% of survey respondents admitted to facing mental health struggles, and a third are concerned that these challenges may prevent them from achieving their career goals.

Impacting Job Prospects

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Mental health issues have already affected their job prospects, with one in five having missed school or work in the past year, 18% feeling too overwhelmed to apply for jobs, and 12% being unable to attend job interviews.

10% Disadvantaged Youth Have Quit Jobs

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Alarmingly, one in ten young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have quit their jobs this year due to mental health challenges.

Reduced Productivity at Work

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Separate research aligns with these findings, indicating that even when young workers are present at their workplaces, a majority of them are effectively missing the equivalent of a day’s work each week.

This suggests that although they are physically present, they are mentally absent, leading to nearly 50 days of reduced productivity annually.

Employers’ Role in Providing Support

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Despite the grim outlook, the research offers a glimmer of hope, as Gen Z has outlined clear expectations of how employers can step in to assist them.

A third of survey respondents expressed a desire for support in securing work experience, guidance on crafting CVs, and improving interview skills. Additionally, training in job-specific skills was identified as a valuable form of support.

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