We’re Not Giving in to Austerity: Meet the Resilients

//17 March 2014
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As George Osborne dusts off the red box in preparation for this week’s Budget announcement, there are already calls for more help for young people trying to get a start in life. But the latest research from JWT’s Austerity Index reveals that the younger generation are taking matters into their own hands.

Meet the Resilients, the group aged 18-39, who set themselves apart from older generations via a strikingly proactive and entrepreneurial approach to their finances, coupled with a comparatively upbeat and positive attitude.

Rather than waiting for rescue, the Resilients are taking proactive measures. They are significantly more likely than any other age group to have:

  • found an extra job or taken on more work (35%)
  • bought items specifically to ‘flip’ for profit (20%)
  • started their own business (11%)

 

And when it comes to making tough decisions and sacrifices, more of them are prepared to submit to privations too:

  • 40% regularly skips meals to save money
  • 30% are selling items they actually still need or want
  • 18% have upped sticks and found a cheaper city or town in which to live

 

Yet despite being amongst the hardest hit by the austerity agenda, experiencing higher unemployment and negative earnings growth, the Resilients remain pretty positive. Their Austerity Index measure is 248; 22 points below average, indicating that their assessment of the impact of austerity on their lives is less severe than most. Their optimism stretches to their appraisal of others too; they are more forgiving towards brands and institutions, including the government.

Tracey Follows, Chief Strategy Officer at JWT London says:

“Naturally some of the Resilients’ can-do approach could be down to their youthful optimism but they may also derive some buoyancy from their sense of connectedness. This generation has grown up witnessing and harnessing the power of social networks, so they have greater faith in themselves and communities to have influence and to drive change.”

The   Resilients: Entrepreneurial

18-39

40-59

60+

Getting an extra job/taking on more work

35%

19%

8%

Bought items (ie. On eBay or car boot) specifically to resell for profit

20%

14%

6%

Turned a hobby into a source of income

19%

10%

13%

Made money selling my skills/knowledge

17%

9%

5%

Started a business

11%

3%

1%

 

The Resilients: Doing whatever it takes

18-39

40-59

60+

Skipping regular meals

40%

32%

20%

Selling items still needed/wanted

30%

23%

12%

Leaving your home town/city for somewhere cheaper

18%

8%

9%

Been forced to do something I felt was unethical/wrong

12%

1%

1%

Selling house and moving into renting/homesharing

11%

4%

3%

 

The full report is available to download here.

 

Notes to Editors:

800 UK adults surveyed in December 2013 using the JWT SONAR panel.

About the JWT Austerity Index:

The JWT Austerity Index is an in-depth quarterly research survey that analyses the impact of prolonged economic adversity on UK consumers and markets. The Austerity Index aims to diagnose Britain’s emotional and rational reply to austerity, delivering the answers that brands and organisations need today.

Our previous reports are available to download here.