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Survey: Recession Slams Gen Y

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Everyone seems to be struggling these days, but the youngest workers may be struggling more.

Researchers at MetLife Inc., New York, have reported that finding in a summary of results of a recent survey of about 1,300 full-time U.S. workers ages 21 and older at employers with a minimum of 2 employees.

The researchers classified participants born between 1977 and 1987 as members of Generation Y; participants born between 1965 and 1976 as members of Generation X; and participants born between 1946 and 1964 as baby boomers.

About 53% of those participants said they now are living paycheck to paycheck, up from 50% in 2007. In contrast, 44% of the Gen Y participants’ older colleagues said they are living paycheck to paycheck.

The percentage of participants who said they were very concerned about having enough money to make ends meet was 73% for the Gen Y participants, 56% for the Gen X participants, and 62% for the baby boomers.

When the researchers looked at insurance ownership, they found that just 46% of full-time Gen Y workers have disability insurance, and that 33% have no life insurance, while 59% of older full-time workers have disability insurance and only 20% lack life insurance.

The economy has prompted 49% of the Gen Y participants to think more about life insurance needs, and 35% to think more about disability insurance needs.

Some other MetLife findings about Gen Y workers:

- 45% said the economy has caused them to be more interested in understanding their workplace benefits.

- 45% said they would like employer-provided access to benefits advisors, and 52% said they would like employer-provided access to retirement planning advisors.

- Only 35% said they are very satisfied with the benefits they receive through their employers.


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