Over 50% of Black Gen Zers Say They Experience Financial Difficulty
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Over 50% of Black Gen Zers Say They Experience Financial Difficulty

Surveyed Black Gen Zers cite societal barriers to financial success and consider independence as a measure of success.
Neither the author, Kingsley Alo, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Research from the Bank of America shows that a significant number of Black Gen Zers (ages 18-24) experience financial difficulty. The study investigated how ethnicity and gender influence young adults’ access to financial resources and guidance and emphasized the importance of closing financial education gaps.

What The Numbers Say For Gen Z

The survey took a general look at the challenges and attitudes of Gen Zers towards finance in the aftermath of the pandemic. Furthering their education (41%), and increasing their salary (36%), were the top two financial priorities for them in the year ahead. 

To achieve financial stability, 80% of Gen Zers said they had taken positive steps towards their finances. Some of the measures taken include; increasing their savings, setting financial goals, contributing to a retirement account, and investing in the stock market.

Despite pandemic challenges, nearly 7-10 people within this demographic are optimistic about their financial future. They also credited the pandemic with changing their economic focus, ensuring that saving and frugal living becomes a priority.

Furthermore, Gen Zs regard insufficient income (46%), lack of job stability (23%) and the inability to save (21%) as the significant success barriers they face. Their most substantial financial stressor is the inability to afford the life they want, lack of emergency savings, and student loan debt ranked highest in that order.

Overall, the general outlook for this demographic looks cheerful as they prioritize better money habits. They also are actively seeking financial education to enable them to take charge of their lives and plan appropriately for the future.

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Black Americans Fare Worse

Black Gen Z Americans face a different set of challenges altogether. Their ethnicity is seen by 51% of them as a barrier to access financial resources and education. Their financial problems are also rooted in debt and a lack of discussions around money in their households. Also, 66% said they had debt issues and were twice as likely to have this as a financial barrier when compared with non-Black Gen Zers.

A positive for this community lies in their financial independence and knowledge of financial topics. In both metrics, Black Gen Zers came out on top in comparison with their counterparts. The study also revealed that Black Gen Zers were six times more likely to start a business to ensure their financial security. 

Racial inequality has had a significant effect on African Americans in general since the pandemic. A report released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that unemployment rates for Black people were significantly higher than other races. This is despite rising employment rates across the country.

Source:  US Bureau of Labor statistics 

We can see how the unemployment rate differs by race over three months, between August and October. The data shows a downward trend in unemployment for white and latino or hispanic work. Since September, the unemployment rate for Black and Asian American workers has remained unchanged.

Rising Tide of Resignations

Following the pandemic, a new wave of resignations has swept across the US labor markets. Another report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that 4 million people had resigned from their jobs by July 2021. 

While most of those who resigned were millennials (25-45 years), a significant portion were also Gen Zs. The use of social media and exposure to cryptocurrencies has led to more of them considering quitting their jobs. The appeal of crypto assets may be the trigger that causes more resignations among this demographic.

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Do you see Black Gen Zs overcoming financial difficulties to secure their prospects? Let us know in the comments below.