Generation Y In Canada: Millennial Dreams Hijacked By Unflinching Reality Of The Great Recession

By Christian Cotroneo
Huffington Post Canada

Call it Generation Interrupted.

Bystanders to the economic train wreck of the Great Recession, members of Generation Y have acutely suffered the aftershocks and a painful recovery four years in the making.

Although past generations faced much more daunting challenges — global wars, deeper and more widespread economic depression — this rising crop of Canadians, also known as millennials or echo boomers, has also seen its future hijacked by events not of its own making.

Of the nine million Canadians born since 1980, about five million are over the age of 18. This should be prime time, when careers are launched, résumés built, families begun, and power assumed. Yet millennials are struggling, consumed by worries over jobs and the future, an exclusive poll conducted for The Huffington Post Canada by Abacus Data shows.

The poll paints a complex portrait of Canadian millennials. They are engaged citizens, connected by technology but disconnected from traditional politics. They’re more tolerant than their parents, yet cling to goals that would resonate with their elders — from owning a house before turning 30, to marriage and children, to early retirement.

Above all, the findings suggest that the past four years of economic turmoil have left a profound scar on their collective psyche, most likely shaping their outlook and politics for years to come.

The poll, which surveyed 1,004 Canadian millennials between Oct. 23 and 25, firmly vaults jobs, unemployment and personal finances — the toll of a hobbled economy — to the top of Y’s to-worry-about list. Asked what their biggest challenges are, nearly half of the millennials in the poll ranked jobs first or second.

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Today, the Huffington Post Canada launched a new series called Asking Y.

Abacus Data was commissioned by the Huffington Post Canada to conduct a national survey of Canadian Millennials aged 18 to 30 in late October. A lot of the content in the series will feature references to the survey results.

There is a lot of interest about how to motivate, engage, and empower Millennials and we’re excited to be the research partner with the Huffington Post on this project.