Comprising almost 19% of Australia’s population, Gen Z (born 1995-2009), are the learners of today and employees of tomorrow. This generation have been at the forefront of technological advances and have created new and innovative industries.
While 2020 was certainly a challenging year for all Australian’s, Gen Z have been particularly susceptible to homelessness. According to our latest research for The Body Shop, more than two in five (43%) Australians aged 18-25 have either experienced homelessness first-hand or know someone who has. While homelessness is understood by many Australians as something that anyone can face, two in three (66%) Australians and 61% of Gen Z Aussies say that homelessness will never happen to them.
The impact of COVID-19
Bearing the burden of increasing house prices, over half of Gen Z Australians have struggled to pay rent in the past 12 months. COVID-19 has only increased the stress put on young people to be able to provide a roof over their head.
Gen Z’s experience of the workforce rivals that of previous generations where they are more likely to work across a range of industries. They are adapting to the changing needs of the workforce as well as creating new industries themselves. Yet, Gen Z have fallen victim to the increasing rates of unemployment as a result of COVID-19. Our research shows that almost a quarter of 18-25 year olds have lost their job in the past six months, and a further 25% have struggled to find work. Gen Z have particularly struggled with gaining and keeping employment this year, disproportionately to previous years, overtaking Gen Y. This has a direct impact on their ability to secure a permanent place to live.
Gen Z want to give more to ending homelessness
Even in the wake of COVID-19, Gen Z continue to show not only their awareness of social issues impacting the world around them but also understanding their role in being a part of the solution. Our research shows that 88% of Gen Z agree that giving more to end homelessness is important to them. However, as cash is being replaced with tap and go and online payment methods, almost two in five (38%) Australians aged 18-25 identify that they never carry cash or coins to donate. It is also Gen Z who have relied on charity and donations the most this year, where one in ten (10%) say they have relied on a charity or Foodbank for essentials.
Where COVID-19 has impacted the lives of all Australians, Gen Z have been hit particularly hard. However, they are showing resilience and are wanting to contribute to making the post-COVID world a better one.