Generation Y and the Changing Workforce


I have covered Generation Y (aka Generation Screwed) numerous times on this blog, often trying to show both sides of the coin on were my generation is headed.

On a boring Saturday night, on my computer, I pulled a fantastic infograph on some interesting Gen Y stats from Workshare.com (Below).

Gen-Y-infographic

Image Credit: Workforce.com

Workforce notes we are the most educated generation ever, along with being the most tech savy. Heck, 90% of generation Yers own an electronic device.

But here are some things that this infograph should make you think about, now, but in the future.

This generation, unlike others want meaning in their workplace. We want constant feedback from our bosses. We do not tolerate a lot of garbage. We want a high quality workplace. We want environmental sustainability. We are even wanting to accept lesser money for more challenges (which makes me wonder why the rise of interns. Read Intern Nation).

While it sucks now, and it may get worse, perhaps something to consider is by 2025, 75% of the world’s workforce (here is hoping) will consist of generation Yers.

If this is true, and as of 2012, only 45% of American information workforce in a corporate office, there could be a lot of potential to see a lot of game changing entrepreneurship, and a lot of startups. This may very well be the most entrepreneurial generation also.

Will this mean a new wealth boom in the future? I don’t know. It’s doubtful in the short-term. Macleans a few weeks ago noted millennials are the New Underclass citing the huge economic and financial challenges slapping them in the face:

Equally troubling, university-educated Canadians experienced a relative increase in unemployment between 1997 and 2005 and a corresponding dip in relative wages, according to a federal government study. By contrast, those with a college, or even a high school education, managed to improve (or at least maintain) their outlook, relative to other workers. In fact, the only group that experienced a similar relative increase in unemployment during the period were those Canadians without even a high school diploma.

………….. It wasn’t always so bleak for Canada’s youth. Wayne Lewchuk, a professor of labour studies at Hamilton’s McMaster University, grew up in Windsor, Ont., and recalls that many of his university buddies took assembly-plant jobs with Chrysler and Ford after graduating in the mid-1970s. The work wasn’t great, but it paid well and the benefits were good. “If you’re measuring life purely by your material standard of living, then they’ve had a much better life than I’ve had,” says Lewchuk, who instead went back to school to pursue two more degrees. “They started working 10 years before I even got my first paycheque.”

Of course, most of those automotive jobs are long gone. So are many other relatively high-paying factory jobs in Ontario and Quebec. They are casualties of globalization and Canada’s subsequent shift toward a “knowledge-based economy”—one that’s built on providing services instead of forging things out of plastic and steel. At the same time, the global commodity boom that began around 2003 refocused attention on Canada’s vast resources, particularly oil and gas. But despite the billions poured into Alberta’s oil sands, there’s mounting evidence to suggest that Canadian workers, collectively, are no better off. The CGA study, for example, suggested the proportion of workers employed in industries with above-average earnings declined between 1991 and 2011, despite strong overall growth in the economy.

Wages are only part of the picture. Unions, once the guarantor of a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, have shrivelled as employers cut back on pension and health care benefits in a bid to better compete in a globalized market. Indeed, the very concept of a gold-plated, defined-benefit corporate pension plan (which guarantees a certain level of retirement income) has all but disappeared. A recent study by the debt-rating agency, Dominion Bond Rating Service, found that as many as two-thirds of North American defined-benefit plans are underfunded. Many companies are pushing new employees over to less costly and less comprehensive defined-contribution plans.”

Will millennials/Generation Y have the same standard of living like Baby Boomers? Let me know what you think, hit me up by email at adamjwpg@mymts.net, Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

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