Young Canadians pessimistic about economy in 2023: survey

Younger Canadians are becoming more pessimistic about the country’s economic situation than they were a year ago and would prefer to stay in their current jobs rather than leave, according to a recent Leger survey.

The results are part of Leger’s latest youth research report, released on thursdaywhich asked 3,007 Canadians between the ages of 15 and 39 about finances, the future and employment.

“Whether realistic or cynical, they were nervous about the future and preferred to live in the present,” the report said. “They don’t believe traditional institutions can make things better; instead, they prefer to embody change locally.”

The survey, conducted Sept. 27-October 11, found that 74% of Gen Z and millennial Canadians don’t think economic conditions in Canada will improve in the coming year, and among respondents surveyed in 2021, that’s 74%. One proportion is 66%.

Seventy-three percent said they also don’t think Canada’s political situation will improve in 2023, down from 77 percent in the previous survey.

Meanwhile, 78% don’t think current environmental conditions will improve, slightly down from 79% in 2021.

The survey also asked respondents about their overall well-being, with 67 percent saying they were generally happy in life, compared with 23 percent who disagreed.

More young Canadians (26%) also say they have experienced major depression, up from 21% in 2021.


When asked about their personal finances, 22% of young people thought they were in good shape, while 47% said they were in good shape and 28% thought they were in bad shape.

“Young people are very pessimistic about the state of financial markets and their chances of acquiring property, adjusting their behavior to soaring inflation,” the report states.

“In the face of these uncertainties about their future, we are seeing many of them returning to a cautious financial attitude.”

Forty-four percent said they lived paycheck to paycheck, about a third expected to be richer than their parents, and 24 percent had no investments.

Of the homeowners surveyed, 42 percent said their mortgage accounted for too much of their expenses.

Among renters, 77% say they are renting because they will not be able to purchase a property, and 68% believe they will not be able to purchase in the next few years.

The majority of young adults (66%) who live with their parents also say they do so because they cannot afford to buy property or pay rent.


67% of respondents said work was very or somewhat important in their lives, while 31% said work was not important at all or just a way to pay the bills.

However, young people are currently more likely to stay in their current jobs, at least in the short term, with 13% saying they want to change jobs in the next year, down from 25% in the 2021 study.

Among young adults who do intend to leave their jobs in the next year, 59% say they might be persuaded to stay if their employer offers them a raise. More benefits and freedom of when and where to work came in second at 24%.

Half of young workers also said they were doing or doing less at work.

“Although important, employment is not necessarily central to the lives of Gen Z and Millennials,” the report said.

“Favoured by a labor shortage, they can choose a job that offers work-life balance and exciting career challenges. If 2021 was the year of job mobility, 2022 is likely to be the year of stability, Because younger employees say they want to leave the company in the next year.”

The results of Leger’s survey differ from another recent study conducted by a business consulting firm.According to a Robert Half survey of a small group of Canadians conducted shortly after the Leger survey, about half of Gen Z and Plan to find a new job in the new year.

The study’s findings suggest that economic uncertainty and rising inflationary costs are driving younger workers to seek better-paying jobs.

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