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Young Sydney residents are the most financially anxious people in the nation, with sky-high rents the primary driver of their stress, according to a new report from National Australia Bank.
NAB’s financial anxiety index fount that young people living in Australia’s most populous city are under the most economic stress, with high rents, bills and future income driving their worries.
NAB’s index fell to 39.3 points from 40.6 in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a report by The Australian. New South Wales residents overtook Victorians as the most anxious about financial security. The report also found that women in Sydney aged 18-29 were more anxious than males in the same age group.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected younger people who make up the majority of workers in some of the hardest-hit industries like hospitality and tourism, said Dean Pearson, head of behavioural economics at NAB.
“Some parts of the population and some industries have been harshly hit by COVID interruptions, and we know that has impacted women and younger people more, who were heavily exposed to the jobs that were more readily lost,” Pearson told The Australian.
The NAB report found that the number of Australians experiencing financial hardship had risen compared to the previous quarter.
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“The typical thing is not having enough for an emergency [or being] unable to pay a bill or not having enough to pay for food or basic necessities,” Pearson said. “But when you look at the 18 to 29 cohort, despite the fact that rent has certainly come down in price … that rent pressure is still there.”
Credit card debt was the least concerning to Australians, followed by mortgage debt, NAB found. Victorians had the second-highest level of financial anxiety, followed by West Australians.
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