Jobs and the Future of Work

This is what’s worrying Gen Z and millennials in 2023

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Members of Gen Z are worried about about personal finances, mental health and their relationship with work, according to a new report. Image: Unsplash/Andrea Piacquadio

Emma Charlton
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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  • Unease about the future is rife among Gen Z and millennials, according to Deloitte’s latest survey.
  • Respondents cited the cost of living as their top societal concern.
  • Having a good work-life balance is paramount for them and a key consideration when choosing a new employer.
  • Nearly half of Gen Zs and 4-in-10 millennials feel stressed all or most of the time.
  • Generating good employment opportunities was a key topic when the World Economic Forum convened its Growth Summit 2023 in May.

Stress, work-life balance and the cost-of-living crisis.

That’s what’s keeping younger people up at night, according to Deloitte’s latest Gen Z and Millennial Survey.

And the report uncovers deep-seated unease about the future, with many respondents citing concerns about personal finances, climate change, mental health and their relationship with work.

“Gen Zs and millennials are facing a unique combination of challenges during a pivotal point in their lives,” says Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global Deputy CEO and Chief People and Purpose Officer. “It is crucial for employers to understand these generations and continue to drive progress on the challenges that matter most to them.”

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What is the Forum doing about keeping workers well?

Generating good employment opportunities is a central plank of many government strategies and sits at the heart of many of the issues cited by respondents to the survey. It was also a key topic when the World Economic Forum convened its Growth Summit 2023 in May.

List of societal concerns.
Cost of living continues to be the top concern. Image: Deloitte’s Gen Z and Millennial Survey

Work is central to identity for 49% of Gen Zs and 62% of millennials, the Deloitte survey showed, with work-life balance a key element they seek when looking for a job. Interest in part-time jobs and condensed four-day-work weeks increased, the data showed.

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Flexible working patterns

The value placed on remote and hybrid work patterns was clear, with three-quarters of respondents saying they would look for a new job if their employer asked them to go on-site full time.

These themes and the wider employment outlook are explored in the Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023, which found that more than half of respondents to a Randstad survey wouldn’t accept a job that didn’t give assurances regarding job security. Flexible hours were prioritized by 83% of respondents to that poll and flexible locations by 71%.

Infographic explaining the different areas to help foster better work/life balance for employees.
Gen Zs and millennials are striving for better work/life balance. Image: Deloitte’s Gen Z and Millennial Survey

Cost of living was cited as the top concern in the Deloitte survey, with 35% of Gen Zs and 42% of millennials saying it was their biggest concern. The prospect of unemployment increased by two points for Gen Zs compared to last year, and now ranks as their second-biggest worry.

Work pressures are driving high levels of burnout.
Nearly half of Gen Zs reported feeling stressed all or most of the time. Image: Deloitte’s Gen Z and Millennial Survey

Nearly half of Gen Zs and 4 in 10 millennials feel stressed all or most of the time, the survey showed. Reported stress levels were higher among women, LGBT+ respondents, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities.

The survey gathered input from more than 22,000 Gen Z and millennial respondents in 44 countries. Fieldwork for the 2023 edition was conducted between November and December 2022, with qualitative interviews conducted in March 2023.

“Gen Zs and millennials are striving for better work-life balance,” Deloitte’s Parmelee says. “They are also values-driven, concerned about the environment, the state of the world, and the future they see developing ahead of them.

“It is crucial for employers to understand these generations and continue to drive progress on the challenges that matter most to them.”

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