The US Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts that millennials will make up approximately 75% of the workforce by 2030.
That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that employers begin to better understand millennials (those currently in their 20s and early 30s) — and the exact reason Millennial Branding, a personal branding agency, teamed up with PayScale to conduct research and release a new report titled “Gen Y On The Job.”
The report looks at how millennials, also known as Generation Y, are faring in today’s multi-generational workforce compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
“We found that millennials are more likely to be living with their parents, unable to achieve financial independence, and even those that have higher degrees are underemployed,” says Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of “Promote Yourself.”
“Companies need to understand these issues because when millennials do get hired, they might be less experienced and more frustrated than previous generations,” he says. “Also, millennials have high expectations and optimism about the workplace that isn’t realistic for most employers, so there’s a mismatch in terms of expectations.”
He says it’s also important for companies to understand what millennials interests and values are in order to attract them.
“By next year, millennials will account for the highest percentage of workers compared to Gen X and Boomers, so employers need to get serious about competing for them. They are currently one in every four managers at companies already so their influence is growing,” says Schawbel.
Here are eight things Millennial Branding and PayScale found in their research that you probably didn’t know about millennials:
1. The gender wage gap is shrinking with the millennial generation.
When corrected for job choice, experience, and hours worked, the gender wage gap is smaller for members of Gen Y at all job levels than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. However, the gap still widens for millennials (as it does for all other generations) as responsibility level increases. This means female executives across all generations see a greater disparity in pay than individual contributors.
2. Many millennials don’t think workers should be expected to stay with their employer more than a year.
About a quarter (26%) of millennials surveyed said that workers should only be expected to stay in a job a year or less before looking for a new position.
Meanwhile, 41% of Baby Boomers believe workers should stay with an employer at least five years before looking for a new job. Only 13% of millennials agree with their more senior counterparts.
3. Highly educated millennials are facing higher rates of underemployment.
Millennial M.D.s are underemployed at a rate of 30%, compared to 22% of Gen Xers and 21% of Boomers, the report finds. Millennials who hold a Ph.D., meanwhile, report being underemployed at a rate of 34%, compared to 27% for Gen Xers and 25% for Boomers.
This can mean a few things: They are underpaid for their education, not using their education or training in their current job, or are working part-time but seeking full-time work.
4. Millennials are having a much harder time achieving financial independence than previous generations.
Twenty-four per cent of millennials who participated in the PayScale survey said they had to move back home at some point after entering the workforce due to financial hardship. Only 10% of Gen Xers and 5% of Baby Boomers said they did the same.
5. Millennials are the most educated generation in history.
Approximately 79% of Gen Y members hold at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 69% for Gen Xers and 62% for Boomers. However, it’s important to note that those who do not major in highly sought-after majors, like engineering, tend to struggle with heavier student debt loads than ever before.
6. Millennials are ambitious and eager for their careers to take off.
When describing their ideal jobs, millennials are more likely to value opportunities for career advancement and the chance to learn new skills than their Gen X or Baby Boomer counterparts.
7. Millennials were more likely to say they want a manager who is friendly.
On the other hand, the survey also found that they’re less likely to say that they value a manager who goes to bat for them than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.
8. Millennials want to own their own businesses.
Gen Y has an entrepreneurial spirit — and they are more likely than other generations to study majors related to entrepreneurialism.
Click here to see the full report.