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Deloitte’s Gen Z and Millennial Survey reveals two generations striving for balance and advocating for change

 According to Deloitte’s 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey these generations are deeply concerned about the state of the world. They’re worried about costs of living, climate change, wealth inequality, geopolitical conflicts, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but at the same time are determined to drive positive societal changes. However, they’re also struggling with daily life challenges around financial certainty, finding a work/life balance, and consistently high stress levels.

Deloitte New Zealand Human Capital partner Lauren Foster says, “This year’s survey shows that while there have been some new concerns creep up the priority order, ultimately these generations hold true to their values and are passionate about advocating for change.”

In 2022 both Gen Zs and millennials have cited the cost of living as their top personal concern. While these concerns may by a symptom of current times given the rise of inflation, they also speak to issues these generations have been expressing for the past 11 years Deloitte has conducted this survey – that they don’t feel financially secure on a personal level and at a societal level they are deeply concerned about wealth inequality.

“It’s not a great surprise that cost of living came out as the top personal concern. The reality facing Kiwi Gen Zs and millennials is that house prices are averaging over $1 million, fuel prices are nearly three times the cost of other countries and many are needing to take on second jobs to help ease their financial pressures,” said Ms Foster.

When it came to economic outlook, Gen Zs and millennials in New Zealand are in alignment with global figures around socio-political situations but held some more pessimistic views about the economic situation of Aotearoa.

“In terms of economic positivity, there was little change at the global level, but Kiwi millennials positivity dropped quite significantly with a 7% increase in those expecting the economic situation in New Zealand to worsen.

Furthermore, the Millz Mood Monitor which gauges the mood of respondents and an annual snapshot of their optimism, saw a 10 point drop in the mood score of New Zealand Gen Zs, whereas global results remained stable,” said Ms Foster.

Climate change continues to be a top concern for both generations, with three-quarters of respondents believing the world is at a tipping point when it comes to responding to the climate crisis and 90% making a concerted effort to protect the environment.

“New Zealand respondents highlight a number of areas where they believe organisations should be investing resources to help combat climate change. These included providing training for employees on how to make a positive impact on the environment through everyday activities, reducing business travel, providing incentives to make better environmental choices, and banning single-use plastic,” Ms Foster said.

Stress levels are particularly high among respondents and New Zealand saw higher levels than the global rates. 51% of New Zealand Gen Zs and 42% of millennials stated they feel anxious or stressed all or most of the time, compared with 46% of global Gen Zs and 38% of millennials.

Ms Foster says “These statistics were set amongst underlying fear of not being financially stable in the future, worries about their day-to-day finance and burnt out from workload pressure. These results reinforce the need for organisations to focus on integrating wellbeing into the design of work itself.

“I’m sure the findings in this year’s survey will be a wake-up call for some. While it’s clear millennials’ and Gen Z’s commitment to societal change runs deep, it’s also clear they are struggling with some significant pressures and finding a way to balance their personal needs with their advocacy.”



The 2022 report reflects the survey responses of 14,808 Generation Zs and 8,412 millennials (23,220 respondents in total), from 46 countries across North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. The survey was conducted using an online, self-complete-style interview. Fieldwork was completed between 24 November 2021 and 4 January 2022.

In addition to the survey, in April 2022, a virtual qualitative assessment was conducted with 15 Gen Zs and millennials from Australia, India, Japan, the UK, and US. The participants shared their personal thoughts on questions related to their societal concerns, finances, the future of work, climate change, and mental health.

The report represents a broad range of respondents, from those with executive positions in large organisations to others who are participating in the gig economy, doing unpaid work or are unemployed. Additionally, the Gen Z group includes students who have completed or are pursuing degrees, those who have completed or plan to complete vocational studies, and others who are in secondary school and may or may not pursue higher education.

As defined in the study, Gen Z respondents were born between January 1995 and December 2003, and millennial respondents were born between January 1983 and December 1994.