Cost of living ‘will hurt more than pandemic’ - The Evesham Observer

Cost of living ‘will hurt more than pandemic’

Evesham Editorial 5th Feb, 2023   0

HALF of young people in the West Midlands think the cost of living will have a worse impact on their life than the pandemic, a new survey has revealed.

The Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index 2023 reveals the overall wellbeing of 16 to 25-year-olds in the UK has flatlined, remaining at the lowest point in its fourteen-year history, with young people least happy and confident in their money and mental health.

It shows in the West Midlands the cost of living crisis (51 per cent) and coming recession (35 per cent) are young people’s biggest worries for the future, and these concerns impact young people’s life goals and career aspirations.

Almost half (48 per cent) state economic uncertainty makes them feel hopeless about the future.

The Youth Index is based on YouGov research with 2,025 16- to 25-year-olds across the UK, gauging young people’s confidence and happiness across a range of areas, from their physical and mental health to money and working life.

Young people’s happiness and confidence with money is now lower than when polling began in 2008 during the global financial crisis, and 30 per cent in the West Midlands agree thinking about money depresses or stresses them.

In the West Midlands over half (57 per cent) of young people say they always or often feel anxious, 67 per cent always or often feel stressed and 45 per cent report ever experiencing a mental health problem.

Rachel Edwards, head of delivery partnerships and Volunteering at The Prince’s Trust said: “Having already lived through one of the most turbulent times to be young, this year’s Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index is a warning sign that, post pandemic, the wellbeing of young people in the West Midlands has not recovered.

“It reveals that for this generation – the Class of Covid – economic uncertainty is having a profound impact on their wellbeing and confidence in achieving their aspirations in the future.

“Most concerningly, the report also suggests these challenges are hitting young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds hardest, with those who received free school meals or who are unemployed reporting consistently worse wellbeing in all aspects of life.”

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