Millennial Perceptions of Job Opportunities

By | Acumen Insights

Research conducted by JobApplicationCenter.com surveyed 2,059 U.S. residents about their perceptions of employment and the job search process. Millennials are less likely to expect to stay in a position for two years or less. Specifically, 41 percent of Millennials (ages 18 to 34) reported expecting to remain at a new position for two years or less. Only 17 percent of Gen X’ers (ages 35 to 50) and 10 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 51+) reported this.  As evident from these numbers, Millennials are far more concerned with career exploration. Previous generations have been more concerned with climbing up the corporate ladder.

Millennials are also less likely to report having an easy job search out of college. Fifty-five percent of Baby Boomers said their search was easy. Only 9 percent of Millennials reported the same. Further, 69 percent reported it was difficult to find work.

When it comes to the perceived importance of a college education, similar trends were evident across generations. Twenty-nine percent of Millennials felt that having a Bachelor’s degree was very important in finding a job. Further, 32 percent of Gen X’ers and 34 percent of Baby Boomers reported feeling this way.

Millennials Shaking up the Workplace

By | Acumen Insights

Many believe that Millennials are lazy compared to other generations. However, that is not the case at all. Research by Accel and Qualtrics revealed that they are just different—they question the rules of how things should be. They reject organizational charts, scheduled breaks, and dress codes in favor of more autonomy, missions, and office pets.

Millennials are definitely job switchers. The research revealed that in the past five years, Millennials have had an average of 2.29 jobs. This is equivalent to a job switch every 26 months! Twenty percent of Millennials said that finding a more fulfilling job would be the biggest reason for their decision to switch jobs.

Millennials tend to be more mobile than their generational counterparts. They are more comfortable switching jobs to change location. In fact, Millennials are three times more likely to switch jobs to relocate than boomers.

Many believe that Millennials love to have multiple jobs at one time. However, this research revealed that this was not the case. In fact, 88 percent of Millennials reported preferring the simplicity of one full-time job rather than multiple part-time jobs.

Millennial Views on Gender and Workplace Leadership

By | Acumen Insights

Research by Accel and Qualtrics examined how female and male Millennials are perceived by their peers in the workplace. When asked who they perceived to be more effective leaders, more millennial men (38 percent) than millennial women (14 percent) said men were more effective leaders. However, the same percentage of millennial women and men (17 percent) said that women were more effective leaders in the workplace.

The research also asked about gender preference in the office. Specifically, Millennials were asked if they prefer to work with people of their own gender. More men (72 percent) said they preferred to work with other men. Sixty-six percent of millennial women said they prefer working with other women.

Surprisingly, millennial men were more likely than millennial women to report that they felt discriminated at work because of their gender. A little over a third (33 percent) of millennial men said they felt discriminated because they were male. Only 21 percent of millennial women reported feeling this way. Further, millennial men were 50 percent more likely to report that their gender affects their career opportunities.

The research also addressed meritocracy. Respondents were asked whether they believed that men and women are judged by the same criteria in the workplace. Approximately 41 percent of millennial women reported men and women were judged based on the same criteria at work.

Millennial Perceptions of Work Martyrs

By | Acumen Insights

As reported by Project Time Off, GfK conducted an online survey of adults 19+ who work more than 35 hours a week and receive paid time off from their employers. The researchers examined the generational differences in the perceptions of being a work martyr. A work martyr is defined as the belief that it is difficult to take vacations because: (1) no one can do your work while you are away, (2) you want to show complete dedication to company/job, (3) you want others to think you are irreplaceable, (4) you feel guilty for using paid time off.

Compared to the other generations, Millennials were the most likely to report that being a work martyr is a good thing. Just under half of the Millennials (48 percent) reported that it is a good thing to be seen as a work martyr by the boss. Only 39 percent of Gen Xers and 32 percent of Boomers reported feeling this way. Thirty-five percent of Millennials reported that it is a good thing to be seen as a work martyr by their colleagues. Approximately 26 percent of Gen Xers and 20 percent of Boomers agreed.

Millennials were also highly likely to report that their company culture either says nothing or sends discouraging or mixed messages about taking time off. Seven in ten (70 percent) of Millennials said this. Millennials were also two times more likely (16 percent) to say they feel disapproval from management when taking vacation than Boomers (8 percent).

Of all the generations, Millennials were also the most likely to forfeit time off, even though they earn the least amount of vacation days. Over a third of Millennials (37 percent) reported receiving 10 or less vacation days, compared to 20 percent of Gen Xers and 18 percent of Boomers. Despite this limited vacation time, 24 percent of Millennials either forfeited vacation days or did not know if they forfeited in the past year. Approximately 19 percent of Gen Xers and 17 percent of Boomers reported this.

Millennials and Vacation Shaming

By | Acumen Insights

Vacation shaming refers to feeling guilty or experiencing shame from coworkers when taking a vacation. Research from Enterprise Holdings revealed that Millennials, compared to other generations, are most likely to experience vacation shame. Of the employed Millennials in the survey, 59 percent reported feeling shame for taking or planning a vacation compared to 41 percent of individuals 35 or older. Not only are Millennials the most likely to be vacation-shamed, but they are also the most likely to shame others. Approximately 42 percent of Millennials reported that they shamed their coworkers whereas only 22 percent of those 35 or older said they did so.

The consequences of vacation shaming could likely lead to individuals not using their well-deserved vacation. Approximately 56 percent of respondents surveyed reported receiving paid vacation as a benefit from their employer. However, 41 percent said they still do not use all of their vacation days. Of those who reported having unused vacation days, 40 percent said they had five or more vacation days left.

Respondents provided two main reasons for not using their vacation days. Some respondents said they had a desire to roll over their vacation days for a longer vacation in the following year. Other respondents reported that they were too busy to take time off from work.

There is a gender disparity in the use of vacation days. Women are more likely to use all of their paid vacation days. Sixty-three percent of women reported using all of their vacation days. Only 52 percent of men reported doing so.

Male and Female Millennials View Retirement Differently

By | Acumen Insights

Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. conducted a nationwide survey of 25- to 35-year olds who participate in a 401(k) plan. The results revealed that millennial men and women approach planning and saving for retirement very differently. When asked about if they are concerned about being healthy enough to enjoy retirement, 54 percent of millennial men said this was a large concern. Only 30 percent of millennial women were concerned about this. This is particularly surprising despite the fact that both millennial men and women reported being in good shape physically. Approximately 86 percent of millennial men and 84 percent of millennial women reported being in good health.

Millennial women were far more concerned than millennial men about having enough money to enjoy retirement. Seventy-nine percent of millennial women reported that this was a concern for them. Only 46 percent of millennial men reported this being a concern. Despite the significant differences, both millennial women and men reported being in a good financial health. Seventy-nine percent of millennial women and 77 percent of millennial men said they were in good financial shape.

Not knowing how much to save for retirement appears to be an issue for both millennial men and women, but more for women. A little over half of millennial men (55 percent) reported that they felt they were saving enough to retire when they wanted to.  Only 42 percent of millennial women felt this way.

The aforementioned numbers likely relate to confusion, uncertainty, and ambiguity regarding 401(k) investing. Specifically, 61 percent of millennial women and 44 percent of millennial men reported not knowing what their best 401(k) investment options are. Approximately 55 percent of millennial men and only 36 percent of millennial women reported feeling on top of their 401(k) investments. In addition, just over a third (35 percent) of the men and 42 percent of the women reported feeling 401(k) investing-related stress.

Millennial Fulfillment at Work Related to Feedback

By | Acumen Insights

A survey conducted by Clutch examined the role of feedback on employee engagement for 428 Millennials, 422 Gen X’ers, and 150 Baby Boomers. The research revealed that Millennials were less likely to be fulfilled at work than the two older generations. Specifically, 40 percent of Millennials reported not feeling fulfilled at work. This number was two times greater than Gen X employees and four times greater than Baby Boomers.

Millennials were also more likely to quit their jobs than the other two generations. About 32 percent of Millennials reported that they were likely to leave their jobs in the next six months. In contrast, only 11-12 percent of older employees reported that they were likely to quit in that timeframe.

Although Millennials love non-traditional work perks such as travel, flexible vacation time, and remote work, what seems to be most related to job fulfillment is immediate and consistent feedback from management. The research revealed that of the Millennials whose managers provide accurate and consistent feedback, 72 percent found their jobs to be fulfilling. In contrast, of the Millennials whose managers do not provide such feedback, only 38 percent found their jobs to be fulfilling.

The researchers also found that Millennials are not receiving the right type of feedback. Previous research has shown that informal/ad-hoc feedback is more effective than traditional forms of feedback. However, only 23 percent of Millennials reported receiving this type of feedback from their managers.

Millennial Perceptions of Discrimination and Advantage in the Workplace

By | Acumen Insights

GenForward, a joint survey between the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago and the AP-NORC Center, examined discrimination and advantage from a sample of 18- to 30-year-olds. Of all the racial/ethnic groups, young African-Americans were most likely to report being discriminated against professionally. Approximately 48 percent said they were discriminated against while looking for a job and in the workplace. About a third of Latinos/as and Asian-Americans reported being discriminated against in these two contexts. Only 10 percent of Whites reported these types of discrimination.

Women of all racial/ethnic groups and African-American men were more likely to report experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace than White men.  Just over a third (33 percent) of African-American women and men reported experiencing discrimination. In addition, 25 percent of Asian-American, 26 percent of Latina, and 33 percent of White women reported experiencing discrimination. Asian-American (12 percent), Latino (14 percent), and White (10 percent) men were the least likely to report gender discrimination in the workplace.

In terms of advantage, women are most likely to report that men have an advantage when it comes to getting ahead economically. This finding was consistent for all racial and ethnic groups. Women, regardless of racial or ethnic group, also reported that their gender makes it harder for them to succeed.

Many of the individuals surveyed also reported that they believe wealthy individuals have an economic advantage. This was the case with 90 percent of Whites, 83 percent of Asian-Americans, 83 percent of Latino/as and 80 percent of African-Americans. Younger individuals were more likely to perceive that the wealthy have an advantage than to perceive Whites or men having an advantage.

Summer 2016 Shows Strongest Teen Employment Market in Years

By | Acumen Insights

Summer 2016 was a lucrative one for teenage wage earners. With strong hiring in June and July, the number of teenagers finding summer employment in 2016 increased by more than 15 percent to its highest level since 2013, according to an analysis of government data by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Employment among teens increased by 1.3 million between May and July, 15.4 percent more than a year ago, when 1.2 million 16 to 19-year-olds were added to the employment rolls. The summer total was helped by heavier-than-usual teen employment gains in July. A total of 492,000 teenagers found jobs in July, according to non-seasonally adjusted data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The July teen job gains were 33 percent higher than last year’s 369,000, and August’s gains were 25 percent higher than the 392,900 July job gains averaged over the previous 10 years. The strong summer hiring brought total employment among 16 to 19-year-olds to 6 million, which is the highest number of employed teens since August 2008, when 6.1 million teenagers were working.

Teen employment has been declining since the 1970s when, at its peak in July 1978, more than 10 million teenagers were employed. Much of the decline appears to be by choice, as a growing number of teenagers participate in summer sports and education programs, volunteer, travel or work in jobs that fall below the standard employment measures. However, even with the promise of tuition assistance, it may be an uphill battle when it comes to bringing teens back into the fold. According to unpublished, non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 9.5 million 16 to 19-year-olds not in the labor force last month, more than 8.5 million, or roughly 90 percent, indicated that they do not want a job.