Skip to main content

The Gen Z and Millennial workforce

The latest Deloitte Global Gen Z and Millennial Survey –  based on a global survey of almost 15,000 Millennials (born between 1983 and 1994) and 8,000 Gen Zs (born between 1995 and 2003) – examines some key workforce trends of our younger generations.

When asked whether they would leave their job, 24% of Millennials and 40% of Gen Zs globally were planning to do so within two years. Though these figures were slightly lower than last year (likely reflecting the fact than many Millennials and Gen Zs have already moved jobs in the last year), this is still a significant share of younger workers with exit plans in mind. It’s particularly evident in customer facing jobs, such as in retail, where 48% of Gen Zs are planning to leave within two years, compounding retail labour shortages being experienced in many countries – including Australia.

Further, 35% of Gen Zs and 32% of Millennials said they would leave their job even without another one lined up. With current sky-high job vacancies this may not necessarily be a surprise – but it does highlight how important attracting and retaining talent is for employers in the current labour market.   

Chart 1 shows that non-pay related reasons are becoming increasingly important for Gen Zs and Millennials when choosing a new job – though pay also remains one of the most important reasons Gen Zs and Millennials would leave their job. Good work/life balance and learning and development opportunities are key attracting factors, as is hybrid work. A large majority of Gen Zs and Millennials want hybrid or remote work (with 12% and 14% of Gen Zs and Millennials respectively having a preference to always work remotely). However, the proportion able to work remotely at least some of the time is significantly lower than what is desired.

Source: Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z & Millennial Survey

The survey results also show Gen Zs and Millennials who feel heard and empowered to drive change in their organisations are far more likely to stay loyal to their organisation. Nearly two in five say they have rejected a job and/or project based on their personal ethics, and this is even more prevalent for those in more senior positions.

Workplace mental health also remains an issue, with nearly half of Gen Zs and Millennials feeling burned out due to workplace demands. A similar proportion say many people have recently left their organisation due to burnout – a clear retention pressure point for employers.

The survey results certainly match what we are seeing in Australia in terms of job mobility. In the year to February 2022, 77% of people who changed jobs in the last 12 months were aged under 45. With Millennials overtaking Baby Boomers as the biggest age demographic in the country in the recent 2021 Census, and ongoing skills shortages (being further explored at the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit this week), better understanding of the Millennial and Gen Z workforce for employers is now more important than ever.