- The Great Resignation is more like a “Great Reshuffle,” thanks to younger workers, says LinkedIn’s CEO.
- Job transitions among Gen Z are up 80% year-over-year. For millennials, they’re up by 50%.
- Both generations graduated into recessions, fueling job hopping. Many are rethinking what they want at work.
The Great Resignation that you’ve been hearing so much about is really a “Great Reshuffle.”
That’s according to LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky in a recent interview with TIME. He said his team tracked the percentage of LinkedIn members (of which there are nearly 800 million) who changed the jobs listed in their profile and found that job transitions have increased by 54% year-over-year.
Younger workers are leading the way.
Gen Z’s job transitions have increased by 80% during that time frame, he said. Millennials are transitioning jobs at the second highest rate, up by 50%, with Gen X following at 31%. Boomers are trailing behind, up by just 5%.
Other research backs up the trend that the early- to mid-level employees quitting are seeking greener pastures in the form of a new job. In late July, a Bankrate survey found that nearly twice as many Gen Z and millennial workers than boomers planned to look for a new job in the coming year. In August, a study by Personal Capital and The Harris Poll found that two-thirds of Americans surveyed were keen to switch jobs. The majority of Gen Zers felt that way (91%), as did more than a quarter of millennials.
The patterns all make sense. Many boomers are retiring, and most Gen Xers are sticking to the status quo, firmly ensconced in the commitments that come with the mid-life stage. Younger generations aren’t typically as tied down, giving them more flexibility to job hop.
Gen Z and millennials want to switch to a better job
Older Gen Zers in their mid-20s and older millennials in their late 30s specifically have been inclined to switch jobs, since both cohorts graduated into the aftermath of different recessions. Millennials entered the blighted job market of the Great Recession, which sent many bouncing around from job to job. Gen Zers seemingly repeated this path when they walked into the coronavirus recession.
That’s because recession graduates on average start at “lower quality” jobs, Hannes Schwandt, assistant professor at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy and author of the Stanford research, previously told Insider. That gives these cohorts a greater degree of mobility from one employer to the next, he said, helping them climb up the ladder to a higher quality job.
Recent college grads have had the toughest time finding a job this year, squeezed out of the labor market by younger teenagers, who are cheaper for employers, and higher and more experienced workers just older than them, Luke Pardue, economist at payroll and benefits provider Gusto, told Insider in July. It could be that some Gen Zers are taking whatever job they can get until they’re able to land something that’s a better fit.
Meanwhile, older millennials are quitting in droves for various reasons, per the Harvard Business Review: Employers may be less inclined to hire less experienced workers, creating more demand for these mid-level workers; this cohort may have postponed switching jobs until some of the dust settled from the pandemic’s economic effects; and the pandemic has caused some to reevaluate what they want in both their job and in life.
But the pandemic has caused people of all ages to reconsider what matters most in life, ultimately causing the workforce to shift.
“You have employees globally who are rethinking, not just how they work, but why they work and what they most want to do with their careers and lives,” Roslansky said. “And while this reshuffle of talent will most likely play out for another year or two, I believe it will ultimately settle back down.”