What Has the Pandemic Done to Millennials Purchasing Power?


(Source: The Observer)

June 4th, 2021 - 17:00 PM

  • Getting a Job in 2020 Started Off Fine but Went Downhill Fast.
  • Lockdowns, Reduced Economic Activities Dampened Millennials Ability to Find Employment.
  • It’s Time for Brands to Rethink Their Millennials Strategy.

For Millennials in Cameroon, Getting a Job in 2020 Started Off Fine but Went Downhill Fast.

February 2020: the first month of the year was out of the way, but the desire to fulfill one’s new year's resolution has not completely faded yet. One of those new year’s resolutions might be getting a new job, or a very first job! Millennials, who are between the ages of 25 and 40, are more likely to be finding a new job. A couple of years of experience under the belt, but maybe not too many. For some Millennials, they might even be seeking a career change.

According to a Kasi COVID-19 tracker, job prospects for millennials in Cameroon have deteriorated as a result of the pandemic. Back in February 2020, the survey found that 14% of Millennials said that finding a job in their city was difficult and by the end of the year, that percentage increased to 32%.

Overwhelmingly, for the majority of 2020, millennial men had a worse time finding a job than women. In February 2020, 18% of millennial men indicated it had become more difficult to find a job, compared to only 7% of women. By July 2020, the statistics skyrocketed to 32% for men and settled at 6% for women. However, in August 2020 the difficulty of finding a job was comparable between millennial men and women, at 28% for women and 27% for men. In December 2020, the discrepancy widened again to 20% of millennial women and 42% of men indicating it was more difficult to find a job. The same month, 24% of millennial women and only 9% of men indicated it was easier to find a job.

While finding a job continues to be a challenge, there is some hope on the horizon as the percentage of Millennials who indicated it was getting easier to find a job increased to 16% in December, after bottoming out at 6% in July.


Lockdowns, Reduced Economic Activities Dampened Millennials Ability to Find Employment.

One of the most serious outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was that many people lost their jobs and there was a significant decline in economies everywhere. Cameroon was the hardest hit Central African country by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with real gross domestic product contracting by 2.4% in 2020 after a 3.7% growth in 2019. The economy was not just hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also by security and political crises in the region and the decline in global oil prices, the latter of which was also a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand, services, manufacturing, exports, and trade all fell and slowed down. This all had a serious impact on employment levels. When there is less supply and less demand, not many businesses are looking to hire new employees, resulting in it being more difficult to find employment

It’s Time for Brands to Rethink Their Millennials Strategy.

Millennials are the largest group of active consumers in Africa but due to changing income and habits, it will be important for brands to get a deeper understanding of the new purchasing power and budget allocation of millennials in the post-pandemic world. Luckily, the Kasi retail index provides a good insight into millennials' budgets and the types of products and services they prioritize. The way millennials tend to access their products and services is online and through social media. Fortunately, most brands should already be on that path as the pandemic forced African nations, including Cameroon to take a more serious approach to their digital economy.

Brands should continue to develop their online presence to attract millennials post-pandemic. This includes online shopping and a strategic, targeted social media presence, which is where a lot of millennials go to get information about a brand and its products, as well as reviews from real people. Finally, brands that are sustainable, while affordable will be more attractive to millennials than those that are not.

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