Nine out of ten Canadian university students concerned about the recession:
PwC survey

Lack of available jobs, now and in the future, cited as top concern

TORONTO, Sept. 23 /CNW/ - Canadian university students have the economy on their mind as they head back to school. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 of them are concerned about the current recession, according to a new survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Indeed, students who will make up Canada's future workforce cited the lack of available jobs, including part-time, full-time and summer positions, currently and in the future, as the main reason for concern.

    
    -   Of the 673 university students surveyed nationally in June and July
        of 2009, 56% are slightly concerned about the recession in Canada,
        while 33% are very concerned and have been aware of the downturn for
        the past nine to twelve months.
    -   Forty-two per cent of the student respondents surveyed feel that the
        recession will affect their initial job prospects with 18% saying
        that it will be up to them and their generation to fix the problems
        that have been created by previous generations.
    -   Thirty-eight per cent of respondents claim that the top causes of the
        recession in Canada are the impact of the global economy, followed by
        a mismanaged international banking system (33%), other
        respondents (8%) blame the U.S. banking system, followed by the U.S.
        government and greed.
    

Future planning

Respondents were split on whether the current economic situation has caused them to the rethink their plans for the future: 52% saying yes, compared to 48% which indicated no. Of those who said yes, 21% said that it meant they would likely accept work in an area not directly related to their major, followed by 14% who said that they are planning to move to a new location to seek new job opportunities. However, the majority of those who said they would change their future plans cited "other" actions, including extending their education by going on to graduate studies, or pursuing a second degree in another area of study.

Spending and savings habits

Given their career and financial worries, students do appear to be changing their spending habits somewhat, 31% have changed some of their habits and 41% indicate they have reduced their spending at least slightly.

The majority of students indicate they are financially supported by their parents (42%) followed by full-time summer positions (14%) and student loans (13%). The most common way that students are saving their money is by contributing to a savings account (58%). However, 26% indicate they don't have any extra money to put into savings or investments. Other popular options for students include Tax Free Savings Accounts (25%) and RRSPs/Mutual Funds (22%).

Economic outlook

Students are positive about Canada's economic outlook with 58% indicating that Canada is faring better than the rest of the G8 industrial group of countries. The majority believe that the economy will begin to rebound with the next 12 months, with 28% expecting it to occur in the next 9 to 12 months, and the 26% in the next 6 to 9 months. Key reasons cited for an economic rebound according to students include government grants, the strong Canadian banking system and higher energy prices.

"Despite the state of the economy, students today are committed to their own success, they are engaged with others, and they care about the world around them," says Jason Safar, partner in the Tax Services practice for PwC in Canada. "Bringing in new people with new talents is what will sustain PwC over the longer term. We continue to work with students as part of our recruitment program, to understand their perspectives and hire graduate recruits and co-op students for new positions across the country."

About PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 155,000 people in 153 countries across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. In Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (www.pwc.com/ca) and its related entities have more than 5,200 partners and staff in offices across the country.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, or, as the context requires, the PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

SOURCE PwC

For further information: For further information: Carolyn Forest, (416) 814-5730, carolyn.forest@ca.pwc.com; Kiran Chauhan, (416) 947-8983, kiran.chauhan@ca.pwc.com

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