Young adults hit hardest by recession

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The Independent Online

Young people have seen their living standards fall more than any other age group as a result of the economic crisis, according to a new consumer watchdog report published today.

Young people owe 47 per cent of their annual income compared to the national average of 21 per cent, not including mortgage debt, according to Which?'s first-quarter report. They have been hit harder by rising fuel and housing costs, high levels of unemployment and low wage growth, resulting in their living standards falling by twice the national average.

One in 10 young people said they had defaulted on a bill in the past month, the report found, one in five relied on friends and family to get by, while 45 per cent said they "always" or "often" run out of cash each month.

Richard Lloyd, Which?'s executive director, who is calling for compulsory financial education in schools, said: "The recession has hit them hardest: they're struggling to get on the housing ladder, dipping in to savings and relying on family handouts to get by."