Today’s topic will cover millennials in the workplace. But before jumping into the statistics about this generation and answering the burning questions about their work habits, plans, and prospects, we should clear up the basics.
Speaking roughly, the term millennials includes those born during the mid-to-late 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. This generation is about to become the largest part of the global workforce and has, therefore, become a popular topic. Next, we should define what the workforce (or labor force) is: it’s the total number of labor-available citizens.
Now that the technicalities are out of the way, we can jump into the statistics:
10 Key Facts and Statistics About Millennials in the Workplace
- Millennials will represent 35% of the global workforce in 2020.
- By 2025, millennials will make up the majority of the workforce (75%).
- There are 56 million millennials in the US workforce.
- 21% of millennial workers have switched jobs in the last 12 months.
- 73% of millennials put in more than 40 hours of work per week.
- Millennial turnover costs the US economy $30.5 billion per year.
- Less than 30% of millennials are engaged in their work.
- 44% of millennials would be more likely to increase their work engagement if their managers met with them regularly.
- 62% of millennials looking to switch jobs are considering a switch to freelancing.
- 35% of millennials plan on retiring before reaching the age of 65.
The Percentage of Millennials in the Workplace – 2020
1. Baby boomers will represent 6% of the global workforce in 2020.
(Statista, Wikipedia, Forbes)
The US workforce isn’t getting any younger. Next year, the annual growth of the labor force older than 55 years is projected to reach 1.8%. This exceeds the overall growth of the workforce by three times. Fewer and fewer people are looking to retire. In fact, the number of those working with millennials while in their 70s and 80s will increase in the near future, as baby boomers (born roughly between 1946 and 1964) reach this age.
2. Generation X will represent 35% of the global workforce in 2020.
(Statista, Data USA)
Generation X workers (born between 1965 and 1983) represent one of the two largest age groups in the workforce. Considering that the average American manager is 45.8 years old, this is the generation that, though commonly overlooked, is shaping the country’s future.
3. Millennials will represent 35% of the global workforce in 2020.
According to labor statistics data on the percentage of millennials in the workforce in 2019, over a third of the global labor force consists of those born between 1984 and 2002. Similar numbers apply to the US. Despite experts’ comments on their low teamwork efforts and attitude issues, many agree that millennials are fast becoming the generation that will diversify and improve the world of business. As baby boomers and Gen X workers get older, millennials will slowly become more in control of its development.
4. Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.
Just half a decade from now, millennials will make three-quarters of the workforce. This means that less than a decade from now, we’ll be able to see which side of the millennial debate wins.
5. Generation Z will represent 24% of the global workforce in 2020.
Gen Z, or those born in 2003 or later, has already started working. To make us all feel even older, next year, a quarter of the workforce will consist of people who can’t legally order a beer.
Millennials in the Workforce
6. There are more than 56 million millennials in the US workforce.
(Pew Research Center)
The American labor force consists of 160 million persons, according to 2018 data. This number includes all persons over the age of 16 who live in the US and are not legally confined in institutions, and who are not on active military duty. Currently, 35% of them are millennials.
7. The millennial workforce is unlikely to ever reach the high point of the baby boomer labor force.
(Pew Research Center)
Even though millennial workforce trends predict a significant increase in this generation’s prominence, the sheer number of workforce members is unlikely to ever reach the record set in 1997 by baby boomers. During this period, there were 66 million baby boomers in the US workforce. Even with increased immigration, the millennial population in the US is expected to peak at 75 million, making it virtually impossible for them to reach 1997’s numbers, even with high labor force participation rates.
8. 21% of millennials have switched jobs in the last 12 months.
More than a fifth of millennial employees in the US have decided to transition to a new company in the last year. We will discuss their reasons behind this move later in the text.
9. 22% of millennials expect to stay no longer than 5 years with the same employer.
A large portion of millennial workers believes they won’t spend longer than 5 years with the same company. Based on the millennial statistics gathered in a 2015 survey that included millennials from 28 countries, over a fifth of this population thinks that their current employment is going to last between two and five years.
10. 13% of millennials expect to leave their employers within the next 6 months.
A surprising portion of this generation is already looking for new work. On a global scale, for millennials in the workplace, research shows a whopping 13% will be out the door in six months or less.
11. 73% of millennials work more than 40 hours per week.
(Dynamic Signal, Statista)
Despite their parents saying otherwise, millennials are not a lazy generation. 73% of them work over 40 hours during any given week, while around 25% put in over 50 hours. In India, people between the ages of 20 and 34 work 52 hours on average. Those located in the US work an average of 45 hours, while UK-based young workers spend 41 hours per week at work.
Problems with Millennials in the Workplace
12. The US economy loses $30.5 billion every year due to millennial turnover.
Employee turnover statistics show that US businesses spent more than $600 billion replacing their workers last year. This year, that amount will climb to $680 billion, and millennial workers will be responsible for just under 4.5% of the turnover cost.
13. Just 29% of millennials are engaged in their work.
Statistics about millennials in the workplace point to a disappointing trend among this generation; a staggeringly low percentage of them is engaged in their work. Even more surprisingly, 55% of millennials are not engaged in the work they do, while 16% are actively disengaged.
14. 25% of millennials want to make a positive impact on their company.
(Harvard Business Review)
When it comes to their long-term career goals, a quarter of the millennial labor force lists working to make a positive impact on their company as one of their aspirations. The percentage of millennials in the workforce who work toward improving their social and environmental state is slightly smaller: 22% of them list this as one of their primary goals. What’s troubling about millennials’ long-term career goals is the fact that just 20% of them prioritize working on something they’re passionate about. For both the Gen X and baby boomer populations, this aspect is more highly prioritized.
15. 52% of millennial workers consider the concept of employee loyalty overrated.
Just 27% of managers find their young employees to be team players. When it comes to millennials in the workplace, articles published by Forbes and Gallup agree with this statement and add that over half of them consider company loyalty an outdated concept.
16. Millennials believe that 12–24 months is the optimal amount of time to stay in one job position.
Millennials expect to move through the company ladder fairly quickly. Around 66% of them say that the ideal period between two promotions is less than two years. A quarter of them agrees that less than a year should pass between promotions. Their impatience might be the biggest problem in dealing with millennials in the workplace.
17. 38% of younger employees would quit work because of a coworker.
The work population we’re discussing doesn’t seem especially tolerant of their coworkers. Those 25 or younger are most likely to quit due to an issue with a coworker. This problem is slightly less pronounced in more mature workers: 34% of those between the ages of 51 and 55 who quit blame their coworkers for the drastic move. This comes as no surprise since coworking statistics show that 62% of millennials work in a coworking environment.
18. 9% of millennials are looking to quit their current company.
Another entry on the list of problems with hiring millennials is company loyalty, as mentioned before. They won’t hesitate to leave an organization as soon as the slightest hiccup in the workplace occurs. Currently, around 5 million millennials are looking for career opportunities with a different company.
How to Keep Millennials in the Workplace
19. 95% of millennials in the US think that job-specific training is important.
(Statista, Association for Psychological Science)
The workplace should be a two-way street, leaving space to take credit for success and to suffer through the losses. So far, we’ve only listed the issues with millennial workers.
The first thing that management should look to improve on is employee training. The majority of millennial workers agree that job-specific training that enables them to complete their tasks efficiently is important. However, one of the problems millennials face in the workplace is the lack of instructions for the role they’re taking.
20. 65% of female millennials in the US will quit their job for a better-paying offer.
Financial security has always been one of the main reasons for employee retention. For example, 24% of Generation X workers stay in their jobs due to financial concerns. In case a better paying opportunity shows up, the majority of millennial workers, regardless of their gender, will jump on it.
21. In the US, 100% of female millennials choose companies based on the opportunity for professional skill development.
When it comes to millennials in the workplace, statistics show that this generation puts professional skill development opportunities over their financial security. In a 2016 survey, all of the included female millennial workers in their early 30s said they chose their latest place of employment based on the skill development options offered.
22. 44% of millennials are more likely to be engaged with their work if their managers were to meet with them regularly.
We’ve mentioned work engagement as one of the problems with millennials in the workplace. This issue could be fixed easily. Almost half of millennials would be more engaged in their work if they had regular meetings with their managers. However, just 21% of managers dedicate the time to do so once a week.
23. 64% of millennials will switch jobs for more paid vacation time.
This is the one time when the cheesy saying “Work hard, play hard” might be appropriate. Those who are offered more time off are not only more likely to stay with the company, but they also become more productive. Considering how many millennials are in the workforce and how many of them would quit for more vacation time, offering more of it is a viable strategy for retaining millennial workers.
24. Millennials are over 22 times more likely to stay with a company that cultivates high levels of trust in the workplace.
(Dynamic Signal, RISE Performance Group)
Retaining younger workers isn’t an issue for companies that nurture a high-trust environment. These companies also manage to keep more of their older workers. Gen X workers are 16 times more likely to stay, while for baby boomers, that number drops to 13. Additionally, workers in high-trust environments become more productive, more confident, and more likely to
More Interesting Facts and Statistics on Millennials in the Workplace
25. 8.6% of young adults in the US are unemployed.
Unemployment trends of 2018, indicate just 2.9% of those over the age of 45 were unemployed. Those between the ages of 18 and 24, on the other hand, had a tough time finding work, as their unemployment rate was almost 5% above the national average (3.7%).
26. 17% of millennials find that technology has made finding a job more difficult.
Millennials in the workforce rely heavily on technology. Nevertheless, almost a fifth of them finds that technology impedes their chances of finding work. This is mostly due to a prospective employer’s ability to take a deep dive into their personal lives, often through social media.
27. 90% of millennials want to grow their careers in their current organization.
Despite the fact that so many millennials are constantly looking for new work opportunities, the majority of them would prefer expanding their career within their current company. For millennials in the workplace, statistics from 2018 found that a large chunk of this population is willing to stay with companies that provide them with a chance to grow their skill set.
28. 56% of millennials believe that a person should spend their entire career within the same organization.
This is another piece of data that shows potential ways companies can retain millennial workers’ loyalty. Provided there are skill and career advancement options available, millennials in the workplace are willing to spend more than 20 years—basically their entire career—with the same organization. However, if there are no such options available, 67% of them would leave the organization.
29. 62% of millennials who are willing to switch jobs are looking at freelancing as a viable career.
Freelancing is becoming a more and more popular option for full-time employment, especially for those unwilling to deal with office drama, bosses, and 9 to 5 jobs. Predictions about millennials in the workforce for 2020 indicate that 62% of the millennials thinking about leaving their current jobs within the next two years are considering the gig economy as one of their potential moves.
30. 35% of millennials in the US expect to retire before the age of 65.
When retirement plans are considered, the largest portion of millennials plans to stop working before they reach the age of 65. Within the millennials’ generation, statistics tell us that 25% of them expect they’ll retire at 65, 30% after that age, while 10% of the generation doesn’t plan to retire.
Our Take on Millennials in the Workplace
Like every generation before them, as well as every generation that will come after, millennials have their qualities and their flaws. Overall, we can say that the good outweighs the bad and that millennials in the workplace have enough potential to make a positive impact not only on the world of business but on our planet as a whole. As millennials, we should all do our best to ensure that the generations before us, and the ones arriving after, are proud of us.