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After going through multiple interview rounds, impressing the hiring manager and landing the gig, Gen Zers are being forced to turn down the roles they’ve been offered because of the costs associated with starting a new job, new research shows.

A survey of more than 2,000 16-to-25-year-olds in the U.K. for the Prince’s Trust annual NatWest Youth Index 2024 found that the cost of living is making the youth of today feel anxious about their future and limiting their career aspirations.

From needing to fork out for a new uniform (or rather, work-appropriate clothes) to splashing out on a travel card to clock in to work—it’s all tallying up. One in 10 unemployed Gen Zers has had to turn down a job because of such costs.

Worryingly, money confidence has hit the lowest level on record in the 15 years. Over half of those surveyed are afraid they’ll never be financially secure, and just thinking about money is enough to stress out over a third of them.

This is particularly acute among young women, with 60% worrying that the soaring cost of living will keep them from achieving financial security. Meanwhile, half fear they won’t make enough to support a family. In comparison, around 45% of young men have the same concerns.

Mental Health

Unemployed youngsters are finding themselves in a vicious cycle where being unemployed is bad for their mental health—but at the same time, their mental health is impacting their ability to work.

A staggering 40% of respondents said that suffer from mental health struggles and a third worry that it will stop them from achieving their career goals.

For a sizable chunk of young workers, their mental health is already getting in the way of their job: One in five have missed school or work in the past year, 18% have felt too bogged down to even apply for jobs, and 12% couldn’t face going to interviews.

Meanwhile, one in 10 young people from poorer backgrounds has quit a job this year due to mental health challenges.

Orianna Rosa Royle /// finance.yahoo.com

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