The COVID-19 pandemic is causing similar financial hardship for consumers around the world, but new research indicates that Millennials (those persons between the ages 26-40) are being challenged the most. A just-released TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) global report including seven regions on five continents found that three in four Millennials (76%) worldwide indicated their household incomes have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. This compares to 64% for all other generations.
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In the weeks since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic on March 11, TransUnion has polled thousands of consumers in the U.S., Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, South Africa and the U.K. to determine the impact of the pandemic on their finances. Research for the global report was conducted in mid-April and observed how COVID-19 has impacted millions of global consumers differently based on employer size, generational differences, government interventions and income dynamics.
“COVID-19 has brought about unprecedented financial challenges to people and businesses around the globe,” said Chris Cartwright, CEO of TransUnion. “A thorough and fact-based understanding of these impacts and how best to respond to them is second only to our health and safety in terms of society’s successful recovery from this global pandemic.”
A clear outcome from the research is that many consumers are worried about their finances, but the Millennial generation is under the most stress. In the seven regions featured in the study, 22% of Millennials with household incomes negatively impacted have lost their job due to COVID-19 compared to 16% for all other generations. Just under half (45%) of Millennials with incomes negatively impacted have seen their work hours reduced compared to 35% for the rest of the group. Impacts observed globally are similar in the U.S.
Where do we go from here?
While the global report makes it clear that consumers are struggling financially, the research suggests that they are coping relatively well. For instance, five in six (85%) global respondents said they have a plan to deal with their financial gap regardless of generation. In the U.S., 87% said they have a plan.
“The big question most everyone is asking is how long the pandemic will last and what will be the impact on the global economy. No crystal ball exists. And people living today have never faced a similar global pandemic with such a far-reaching impact,” said Wise. “The good news is the research demonstrates that people are resilient, and most have figured out a plan for how they will manage their finances until economies re-open and employment opportunities return.”