Chinese millennials worried about finances and employment

Updated: 2013-10-18 05:21

By Amy He in New York (China Daily USA)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Millennials from China think that is important to be financially independent, there are more opportunities overseas, going to school abroad will improve job prospects after graduation and that the family is important.

Those are among the findings of a survey of Millenials — 18 to35 year-old individuals — in the so-called BRIC nations: Brazil, Russia, India and China. BRIC was coined in 2001 by British economist Jim O'Neill and refers to the four nations that are advancing at very similar economic speeds.

The survey by JWTIntelligence, a market-intelligence firm, was conducted in July with 1,640 individuals; 384 were from China; 65 percent were college graduates and 76 percent were employed full-time. The majority, 60 percent, lived with immediate family and 15 lived on their own.

The survey found most of the participants are mostly optimistic about their economic future and can identify with cultures from around the world, though they feel stress about money, jobs and upholding tradition. Social media is changing how they communicate and engage with torrents of new information, according to the study.

As the BRIC nations' economies develop, culture is also changing said the report, and "Millennials in China and Brazil are feeling the cultural shift most acutely."

"Thanks largely to economic reforms that got underway when the oldest Millennials were born, this generation has grown up in a very different China," according to the report.

"Millennials in Brazil, Russia, India and China have come to age during a unique time, during which their countries have experienced both unprecedented growth and the repercussions of a worldwide slowdown, globalization and the digital revolution," said the report. "This generation will call on their distinct set of experiences and tools as they help to shape the future of nations that, as one bullish forecast suggests, could together overtake the G7 economies in less than 15 years."

Almost all participants from China.—.93 percent — said that it is important to be financially independent, and 83 percent predict that their finances will improve over the next six months. Most — 65 percent — said that saving money was more important in their parents' generation than in their generation and 43 percent said that managing their finances was stressful.

Most of the respondents — 66 percent — said that they worry about traditions being lost over time, and 9 of 10 Chinese respondents still feel that the family is important.

Unemployment was a big source of worry, and many BRIC millennials said that they were affected by the global economic downturn. "Seven in 10 agree that their generation is being dealt an unfair blow because of global economic uncertainty and that people their age are struggling to find jobs," said the study.

In China, the number of college graduates increased fourfold in the last 10 years, but professional opportunities have not grown on par with that figure, according to the report. But employment shortages have led to a more entrepreneurial mindset in millennials, with 74 percent of participants saying that if they lose their jobs or have trouble finding employment, they would start their own businesses.

Chinese millennials think that there are more opportunities overseas, and that going to school abroad will improve job prospects after graduation, they said in the survey.

Cultural taboos are becoming less taboo for the millennials as well, according to the report: 11 percent thought that marrying outside of their race was taboo, compared to the 53 percent of Indian respondents; 15 percent thought body piercings were taboo, compared to the 34 percent in Russia.