Millennials view work very differently from past generations – including the one managing them.
The Great Recession of 2007, slow growth in the job market and low wages have presented very different career opportunities for them than for their parents. The left-leaning Center for American Progress (CAP) reports 30-year-olds are making less today than the same age group 10 years ago despite being more educated and working in a more productive economy.
They also make up a smaller share of labor union membership than ever before. Less than 6 percent of 30-year-olds were union members in 2014 compared to 17 percent of Baby Boomers when they were 30 in 1984. But that’s changing. More than three-quarters of the growth in union membership in 2017 came from people younger than 35, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
In true millennial fashion, they’ve turned to social media to discuss their experience and, in some cases, form their own, informal unions. And in true union fashion, traditional organizers are meeting them there.
All of these changes represent an opportunity for employers to maintain, or regain, their direct relationships with a new generation of workers. Let’s explore how.
Wage gap woes
Millennials, by any measure, have not seen the growth in wages that generations before them benefited from, according to the Center for American Progress. The group’s March 2016 report highlighted the impact of the wage gap in detail.
- 30-year-olds today make about the same as 30-year-olds in 1984
- More than 38 percent of 30-year-olds today have college degrees compared to 25 percent of Baby Boomers when they were 30
- Millennials are competing for work instead of employers competing for them