Younger Canadians might need as much as a decade to recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic, raising questions about the near-future stability of the housing market.
Scott Terrio, a consumer insolvency manager at the Ontario-based Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Licensed Insolvency Trustees, said the pandemic’s negative financial impacts will likely compound the indebtedness that the younger generations, like millennials and Gen Zs, are already labouring under.
“I can easily see it being 10, because 10 years goes by fast,” Terrio told CTV News. “I think a lot of people will take issue with that number – but if you do my job long enough and deal with people who are in normal debt situations, this is abnormal.”
Terrio said that COVID-19 vaccinations will help promote consumer confidence among the youth, as “people want to spend,” but wiping out COVID-19 may prove a tough nut to crack.
Leading health officials such as the United States’ Anthony Fauci have set the baseline vaccination rate at 70%-85% for society to safely return to its pre-pandemic normal. At Canada’s current speed of vaccination roll-out (15,848 doses per day), the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker estimated that the country will take more than 10 years to inoculate at least 75% of its population.
Terrio also noted that a crucial component of younger Canadians’ fiscal recovery will be federal policies aimed at stimulating employment growth, since industries that had staffing cuts during the height of the pandemic won’t “magically” be able to rehire their former employees.
“I can’t see employment rolling back out evenly, in any kind of quick way, because there’s going to be a lot of businesses not there anymore,” Terrio said. “I’ve been meeting with people for 10 months now whose jobs were just basically vaporized in March and … people in their twenties are in industries that have just been crushed … they’ve probably paid a bigger price than almost any other demographic.”