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Australia’s Millenials less happy than their parents were

Watuwapiga foleni kutafuta kazi. Source: Getty Images

Aussies born between 1983 and 1994 don’t foresee a bright future for themselves, says survey.

A survey of the world's young people has revealed a sceptical world view, lacking trust in their leaders and pessimistic about their futures.

The results of the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey show young Australians are no exception, with less than half believing they'll be better off than their parents.

A global survey conducted by professional services firm Deloitte has shown people born between 1983 and 1994 - known to demographers as Millennials - are pessimistic when it comes to work, those in power and the future.

Terrorism, climate change and income inequality are among the top concerns for young workers in developed countries.

CEO of Youth Action Katie Acheson says the survey's results point to issues that have been around for years. "We're starting to see in Australia that people are realising, or older people are realising 'hey maybe it is a little harder for young people and it's not just that they're not trying hard enough, that actually there aren't the jobs that we thought... that were there.' Or that they have different skillsets - the education system is preparing them for jobs of yesterday when we actually need to be preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Ms Acheson.

The survey also revealed Millennials are sick of businesses making profit their number one priority instead of positive impact.

In 2017, close to 65 per cent believed businesses behaved ethically. In 2018 that fell to 48 per cent.

Deloitte Australia's Chief Operating Officer, David Hill, says business needs to improve. “That's where I think it's really important for business leaders to embrace things that matter to Millennials, things like diversity and inclusion, things like flexible work environments, things like having a genuine foundation and contribution to responsible business,” Mr Hill said.

The uncertainty of Millennials' futures is clearly weighing on them, with only 43 per cent believing they'll be happier than their parents.

In Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, that number is even lower.

Psychology student Aleksandra Krasic says she often wonders what her future will look like. “Worrying about my future, worrying about whether I will have enough money to be able to sustain myself independently. Definitely everyone that I’m friends with who is in my age bracket has pretty much the same exact concerns,” she said.

Mr Hill, however, argues this could be due to the very different circumstances between developing and mature countries, saying in 2017, this number was only eight per cent.

Even more encouragingly, Mr Hill says, there has been a jump in the number of Australian Millennials feeling positive about the economy, from 28 to 34 per cent.

Ms Krasic agrees that while it wasn’t always easy for her family after emigrating from Serbia in the late 80s, doing so has given her opportunities that otherwise may not have been available to her. “They really just kind of really had to start from the bottom, coming to a new country, whereas I, as an individual will probably have an easier time pursuing what I want to pursue in Australia because my education was finished here,” Ms Krasic added.

But Ms Acheson from Youth Action warns that that optimism might be misplaced. “This generation is the first one that can look at their parents and say 'I'm worse off than they are' and now what we're seeing is that the living standards of Australians are dropping and it's particularly affecting this generation for the first time ever. What the report shows is exactly what we know is true. So it's not just a perception of 'I think it's going to be worse', it's actually that in Australia it is. Technically worse, it is factually worse. Things aren't great for young Australians and they can see that,” she added.

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