Press Release: Sharp rise in Brits worried about lost generation
14th May 2012
For immediate release
The British public is considerably more worried about a lost generation of young people than they were two years ago, according to new polling from BritainThinks.
71% of people now agree with the statement: “I’m worried that there’s a generation of young people who may never be able to get jobs because of the recession.” This compares with 63% who agreed with the same statement in December 2010, a difference of 8%.
Interestingly, women are significantly more likely to agree with this statement than men (female: 75%; male: 66%).
In addition, 56% of people now agree, “I’m worried that the next generation won’t have the opportunities that mine had.” This is 9% higher than the 47% who agreed with the same statement two years ago.
If we look at this statement by employment background, 60% of the public sector workers in our sample agreed, which is 8% more than the 52% of private sector employees who agreed.
They are also less likely to agree that “my children will be better off than I am” (2010: 35%; 2012: 27%).
Founding Director Deborah Mattinson said, “Our latest polling shows just how pessimistic people in Britain are feeling about their own economic situation, but also crucially about the chances of their children. Concern about a lost generation is now an issue which cannot be ignored.”
As the economy dips back into recession, people who self define as working class are far more likely to be feeling the pinch than those who self define as middle class:
63% of working class identifiers agreed “it is a real struggle to make the money last to the end of the month”, which is 21% more than the 42% of middle class identifiers who agreed. Among the whole population, 4% more people agree with this statement than they did before (2010: 45%; 2012: 49%).
Working class identifiers are also 21% more likely than middle class identifiers to agree “it would be a big financial problem for me if I had to replace a large item such as fridge or washing machine this year (working class: 59%; middle class 38%). Overall, 4% more people agree with this statement than in 2010 (2010: 41%; 2012: 45%).
For the population as a whole, this is impacting on spending habits, with many more likely to agree “I don’t have the time or money to check up on whether the products I buy were ethically produced” (2010: 37%; 2012: 45%).
Against this gloomy backdrop, people are more likely to agree “I don’t know who to trust nowadays” (2010: 48%; 2012: 57%).
Interestingly, they are also more sympathetic to those expecting government support, with fewer likely to likely to agree “people expect the Government to do too much for them” (2010: 53%; 2012: 47%).
Both polls were conducted using an online panel of 2,000 people, weighted to be representative of the UK population. The original polling was conducted between 11th-14th December 2010 and the updated polling was conducted between 13th-15th April 2012.