Millennial Economic Trends
Today’s economy seems to be full of contradictions. The GDP and stock market soar while wages stay stagnant. Unemployment drops while wages stay stagnant. Millennials represent 33% of the population, and they’re on track to be the most educated generation to date, according to the Pew Research Center. So why are they so burdened with debt? Why are they often considered under skilled for jobs despite their education?
Millennials’ performance and experience in the economy matter to all of us. They’re a significant portion of the potential workforce, and they are inheriting our economy, our industry, our world.
Millennials Face Economic Struggle
So it’s disquieting to read the headlines:
- Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force – Pew Research Center
- Millennials are being ‘left behind,’ and it poses a huge risk to the US economy – Business Insider
- The Ugly Side To Today’s Low Unemployment Rate — Forbes
- The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018: Millennials’ confidence in business, loyalty to employers deteriorate — Deloitte
- 30% of Millennial Men Have No Job: New Study Shows Millennial Men Less Likely to be Employed Than Their Elders Were at the Same Age – Moneytips.com
- Millennials ages 25-34 have $42,000 in debt, and most of it isn’t from student loans — CNBC
- For Debt Ridden Millennials, Zero Is The New Rich. …But How Do They Get There? – Huffington Post
Here’s the introductory paragraph for an article on millennial labor force trends:
Millennials make up the largest percentage of our population today, yet have seen some of the lowest labor force participation growth and highest unemployment out of all age groups since the turn of the century. This has larger implications when coupled with slow wage growth, high home prices, and mounting student debt.
And here are some revealing nuggets from the Deloitte survey:
Following a troubling year, where geopolitical and social concerns gave rise to a new wave of business activism, millennials and Gen Z are sounding the alarm, according to Deloitte’s seventh annual Millennial Survey. Millennials’ opinions about business’ motivations and ethics, which had trended up the past two years, retreated dramatically this year, as did their sense of loyalty. And neither generation is particularly optimistic about their readiness for Industry 4.0. Their concerns suggest this is an ideal time for business leaders to prove themselves as agents of positive change…
Perceptions of business are declining
This year’s survey shows a clear, negative shift in millennials’ feelings about business’ motivations and ethics. Today, only a minority of millennials believe businesses behave ethically (48 percent vs 65 percent in 2017) and that business leaders are committed to helping improve society (47 percent vs 62 percent in 2017).
Diversity and flexibility are key to loyalty
Forty-three percent of millennials envision leaving their jobs within two years; only 28 percent seek to stay beyond five years. The 15-point gap is up from seven points last year. Employed Gen Z respondents express even less loyalty, with 61 percent saying they would leave within two years if given the choice.
How Can Millennials Achieve Economic Stability?
Once upon a time, it was a given: we expected our kids to do better than we did. That aspect of the American Dream is clearly on the retreat. I don’t have the answers, but I’m committed to exploring the question: How can we make sure that every generation has a solid economic opportunity in the American workforce? If you have some answers, I’d love to hear them.