As a new generation of Americans begin to move toward adulthood, there is a growing interest in their behaviors and lifestyle choices. How will this new Generation Z, or “post-Millennials” (those born in the mid-1990s to about 2025) influence and shape the United States workforce? Even though the jury is still out and will be until the youngest reach working age, there is much speculation based on the following observations:
Digital Age – they are the first generation to be surrounded by technology from birth are totally comfortable with technology and social media. This may lead to a large portion of Generation Z incorporating technology into their jobs.
Global Connection – Gen Z will continue to grow more global in their thinking, interactions, and relatability.
Largest racially and ethnically diverse population – (and less likely to be foreign-born). According to the United States Census Bureau, Gen Z accounts for 61 million people in the U.S., currently making up 22 percent of the American population.
Experienced the Great Recession – living through global uncertainty greatly influenced their outlooks on life, and they have been reported as having less faith in the “American Dream.” Due to economic insecurity during their upbringing, members of this generation report anxiety and over half are uncertain about achieving a higher standard of living than their parents. This is significantly lower than previous generations.
Easy Access to Information – most cannot remember life without a smartphone in their hand, and the internet has provided all types of information that influence their opinion about employment and life.
Entrepreneurial – Generation Z desires more independent work environments, and according to a study done by Millennial Branding and Internships.com, 72 percent of high school students want to start their own business someday.
Smart with money – 12% are already saving for retirement and a significant 21% of this generation of people ages 14 to 21 had a savings account before the age of ten! Generation Z is already thinking about their own financial future.
Top Priorities – personal success, job security, and work-life balance are top priorities when entering the workforce followed by independence, creativity, and commitment to a cause.
Compared to the Millennials, who were privy to boom times and relative peace of the 1990s until their world turned ominous by the September 11 attacks and two economic crashes in 2000 and 2008 – they suffered a loss of innocence, however, Gen Z had a different overall experience. By contrast, they grew up knowing the aftermath of these tragedies and uncertainties first hand making them adverse to risk and much more practical human beings, looking for security and independence.
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