- Dec 11, 2018
The pandemic's economic hit to Gen Z (23 or younger) will be severe, Stef Kight continues:
The virus may shape Gen Z's views on the government's role in protecting public health and the economy.
- Gen Z was looking at graduating into a strong economy and low unemployment. "That's all been turned on its head," Kim Parker, Pew Research Center's director of social trends research, tells Axios.
- Nearly half of workers ages 16-24 held service jobs such as in bars, restaurants and hotels — many of which have now been shut down or greatly scaled back, per Pew. Young workers with less experience can be the first to be let go.
- College students are losing internships, summer work and first jobs vital to build networks and careers. In a College Reaction survey, 91% cited concerns about the economy and job market, and more than half worried about their finances.
- Past generations graduating in a recession saw depressed wages and career growth. Just ask millennials who lived it during the Great Recession.
- "People gradually catch up, but it can take basically the first decade of their career," said Lisa Kahn, an economics professor at the University of Rochester.
What's next: That could fuel youths' already strong support for progressive, social safety net policies such as universal basic income and Medicare for All.
- They or their parents could lose employer-provided health insurance in the middle of a pandemic.
The bottom line: The progressive ideas they've supported are now less hypothetical.
- "Gen Z is now going to be able to say, 'I remember where I was' when they started sending out checks to everybody or when health care suddenly became free in order to get tested," CGK's Dorsey said.
Generation Z now has a defining experience: the coronavirus
"COVID-19 is going to be the 9/11 of the Gen Z generation."