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Young Adults Cope with the Recession

Nancy Trejos

I came across a sad statistic yesterday. According to a poll by an online advocacy organization for teenagers and people in their 20s, two in five young adults have skipped a meal to save money.

Come on, is it that bad out there?

Apparently so, according to Qvisory, a non-profit that helps young adults with financial and health care issues. The organization commissioned a national survey of young adults aged 18 to 29 from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. From Feb. 25 to March 11, 606 people in this age group were surveyed via cell phone, landlines and online.

What they found is that young adults are disproportionately feeling the impact of the economic downturn.

Nearly one in five young adults (19 percent) are unemployed or looking for work. Two in five (41 percent) have had their wages or hours cut.

As if that weren’t bad enough, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of young adults said they or a family member has recently lost health insurance. More than half of those surveyed have lost their coverage at some point in the past five years. I know young people tend to think they are healthy enough to go without health insurance, but that’s not the case. Accidents can happen to anyone.

To cope with the recession, many young adults apparently are getting themselves into debt or falling behind on their loans. Most have the same amount or more debt than they had a year ago. Nearly one-third have paid a late fee on a credit card in the last year. Seventeen percent have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. Another 18 percent have not kept up with their student loans.

“These survey results underscore that young adults are facing enormous challenges in this recession,” said Anna Greenberg, senior vice president of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, which conducted the national survey for Qvisory. “More than their parents or grandparents, they are starting out with high debt that continues to accumulate as they try to find their place in the workforce.”

In response to yes, their own survey (Let’s face it though. This isn’t exactly the only survey out there that has found young people to be hurting in this recession), Qvisory officials are launching new services. Among them: low-cost dental insurance to supplement the other health insurance programs already offered, a pre-paid card with no hidden fees to help those with no or bad credit, and new health and wellness benefits through a Qvisory/Aetna membership assistance program.

But come on folks, try not to skip meals. That's not going to help you get through this recession.

By Nancy Trejos  |  April 9, 2009; 3:34 PM ET
Categories:  Nancy Trejos  
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