With many baby boomers entering retirement, other generations are becoming increasingly important in the workforce. Two of these generations are the Millennial generation and Generation Z generation. Millennials are anyone who is born between the years 1981 to 1986. There are roughly 56 million millennials in the workforce, and this group makes up about 35 percent of the workforce in America, roughly 72 million in America.

Generation Z refers to anyone who was born between 1997 to 2012. Members of this generation have started entering the workforce in the last few years. There are roughly 69 million members of Generation Z in America currently.

These generations will make up an extremely large percentage of the workforce in the coming years. Therefore, employers need to understand them, including their needs and preferences. This article will cover some of the most important facts you need to know.

Facts About Millennials

  • 39% of Millennials Aged 25-37 Have a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher. (Team Stage) 

This means this generation has the highest higher education level than any existing generation. For comparison, only 29% of Gen Xers and 25% of Baby Boomers completed at least a bachelor’s degree. Due to this, many millennials possess specialized skills and education.

  • Millennials Have the Highest Percentage of Employed Females of Any Generation (Team Stage)

A woman working on her computer

Seventy-two percent of millennial females are employed, meaning that more females in this generation participate in the labor force than any other previous generation. For comparison, only 66 percent of females in the Baby Boomer generation participated in the workforce, and only 40 percent of women in the Silent Generation were employed.

  • 66% of Millennials are Employed Full-Time, and 24% of Them Have Participated in the Gig Economy (Team Stage)

Despite the vast opportunities to earn money in the gig economy, two-thirds of millennials still prefer traditional employment to make money. As more and more opportunities are created in this sector of the economy, the percentage of millennials who earn money in the gig economy could significantly increase over time. The gig economy includes part-time, temporary jobs, or “gigs” such as freelancing, driving for Uber, drop-shipping, consulting, etc.

Even though older generations have often criticized this generation for not having a strong enough work ethic, Millennials work very hard, with more than one out of every four having at least two jobs. In addition to being ambitious, they also have significantly more student loan debt than other generations; therefore, many have to work harder to pay off the debt.

  • 73% of Millennials Work More than 40 Hours Per Week (Team Stage)

This statistic shows how hard they work. This statistic means that almost 3 out of every four millennials are going above and beyond the normal 40-hour work week to make ends meet and accumulate wealth. Astonishingly, about 25% of millennials work more than 50 hours per week.

  • The Occupations with the Most Millennials are Statisticians (44.6%), Bartenders (41.9%), Financial Analyst (41%), Advertising and Promotion Managers (40%), Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedics (38.7%) (Monster)

Millennials have gravitated toward these professionals for several reasons. The first high earning potential. Statisticians, financial analysts, and advertising and promotion managers have median salaries of over $80,000. The second is endurance. This generation is still young, and so they can still work jobs that require a lot of endurance such as being a bartender or being an EMT or paramedics. Many also moved into the medical industry during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the abundance of job opportunities.

Facts About Generation Z

  • Generation Z is the First Generation to Grow Up with No Recollection of a World Without the Internet (CSP)

A depiction of the world with the internet

Even though the millennial generation is often touted as the first generation to grow up with the internet, many are old enough to remember a time when the internet was not widely used or available. The same cannot be said for Gen Z though. Gen Z are true internet natives. The internet was fully developed and easily available to them. At the same time, they grew up, meaning that most Gen Zs are extremely tech-savvy and have a much greater understanding of the internet and its capabilities than previous generations. As a result, Gen Z will likely display a high level of digital creativity as they continue entering the workforce.

  • Gen Z will Account for 27% of the Workforce by 2025 (Zurich.com)

Gen Z is rapidly filling the workforce gaps left by the departing Baby Boomer generation. This generation will make up more than a quarter of the workforce in just a few years. This means that it is becoming increasingly important for employers to understand the needs of this generation.

Hands together, different skin colors

Forty-seven percent of Gen Z identify as black, Indian, or people of color (BIPOC). This is significantly higher than all generations since this data has been tracked. The next most diverse generation is the Millennial generation, with 39% of its workers identifying as BIPOC. With greater diversity in the Gen Z generation, you can expect diversity to be a strong value for this generation and an important factor they look for when selecting companies to work for. 

  • They are Highly Motivated by Future Financial and Health Security (CSP)

Having grown up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and coming of age during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gen Z has had more than their fair share of crises and chaos to deal with on their journey into the workforce. Because of what they have gone through, a large percentage of Gen Z workers prioritize things associated with security when it comes to working. For example, 70 percent of Gen Z describe salary as their top motivator when considering a company to work for. Also, 70% of Gen Z say health insurance is their top must-have benefit. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has reminded these young workers how important it is to protect their health and ensure they have insurance coverage for medical expenses.

  • Only 38% Think That Work-Life Balance is Important. (CSP)

According to one study, only 38 percent of Gen Z feel that work-life balance is important. This is significant because it shows that Gen Z is not as focused on work-life balance as they are on other things. Most likely, Gen Z is less focused on work-life balance because they are more focused on security. In other words, getting a high-paying salary and good health insurance is more important than other things, such as schedule flexibility or working from home.

  • The Jobs That Are Rated Most Highly By Gen Z’s are Corporate Recruiter, Marketing Manager, Social Media Manager, Data Scientist, and Product Manager (Glassdoor)

This data comes from Glassdoor. It implies that Gen Z’s are very interested in helping attract and retain clients and marketing and managing products. This should come as no surprise because Gen Z are extremely tech-savvy, and many grew up doing online shopping and using social media regularly. So, you could say that digital marketing and social media management are “in their DNA,” at least for many of them.

Conclusion

Both generations have a lot of similarities. For example, they both grew up being exposed to the internet and a wide range of technological devices, such as computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, iPods, etc., from a young age. As a result, they are extremely comfortable with technology and not intimidated by it as other generations have been.

Also, millennials and Gen Z have demonstrated a habit of working hard and taking their careers very seriously. However, they are different. One of the biggest differences is that Gen Z focuses more on security.

You can expect the Millennials and Generation Z to have more diversity and employed females than any other generation. Now that you have learned many key statistics consider using them to your advantage. Look for changes you can make to your company to make it a better place for millennials and Gen Z to work.