Youth worry about rising costs and jobs

SINGAPORE - Young people here are anxious about achieving a First World standard of living amid rising costs and more intense competition for jobs and at work.

These worries contribute to regrets among some in being born too late to enjoy the leap in standards of living of their parents’ time, they said in response to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s assurance on the matter.

In a dialogue with over 1,200 undergraduates at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on Tuesday evening, Mr Lee said young Singaporeans need not worry about having a tougher time than their parents because they were born too late.

With globalisation and advances in technology, he said he expects the next 50 years to be an exciting if uncertain time.

Yesterday, nine out of the 15 young people The Straits Times interviewed said they worried they would not be able to afford what one called “basic goods”, namely a flat and a car.

Finance professional Chong Lingying, 24, said: “Things within reach for my parents’ generation are completely unimaginable for me. I might be earning a lot more than my father did at my age, but I can’t afford a car like he did, let alone a home any time soon.”

Some undergraduates are more worried about jobs. Ms Joyce Lee, 23, a final-year geography student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), wonders about her prospects in the sales and journalism industries.

“There is a wider spectrum and a greater number of things for my generation to achieve in,” she said. “But everyone here also has more knowledge and skills. Life is going to get more competitive.”

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