- Gen Z and new entrants to the workforce are experiencing greater job loss as a result of COVID-19-related business closures compared to other age groups, according to Gusto. The human resource management software company's report published May 1 found employees who have low-wage jobs in low-income areas are experiencing the brunt of layoffs as small businesses make the "difficult decision to let go of staff."
- Workers under the age of 25 have experienced a 93% higher rate of layoffs than those ages 35 and older. The tourism industry incurred the most layoffs, with the percentage being higher for workers between the ages of 16 and 19 (33%) and ages 20-24 (24%) than ages 35 and older (15%). Younger workers are disproportionately employed in lower wage jobs in industries that depend on foot traffic, according to the report.
- There's also an over-representation of hourly employees on lower wages across service-based industries. Hourly workers making less than $20 per hour have experienced a 115% higher rate of layoffs compared to those making $30 or more per hour. Gusto data found that from March 2 through April 26, across the board, the layoff rate for hourly workers (5.2%) was double that of salaried workers (2.5%). The locations of small businesses affect the layoff rate as well. Areas with lower economic prosperity had a 25% higher layoff rate (4.5%) compared to businesses located in more affluent areas (3.6%).
Many Gen Zers and millennials are not job-hoppers, as their reputation suggests, but actually want to stay with their current employer for some time.
A January Zapier report based on a Harris Poll of 1,038 respondents found that most millennial and Gen Z workers plan to stay in their jobs 10 years and six years, respectively. More than half of Gen Zers surveyed (65%) and millennials (73%) said their jobs are a major part of their personal identities.
Since Gusto's report found that Gen Zers are hit by the loss of low wage jobs in industries such as tourism, hospitality and manufacturing, upskilling may help workers stay competitive, based on a recent analysis by the National Skills Coalition (NSC).
Fact sheets released April 21 by NSC assessed the condition of American workers' digital skills across five major industry sectors — health and social work, manufacturing, construction, retail and hospitality — finding a digital skills gap in these industries. Workers in manufacturing, for example, must be able to monitor and interpret data from sensors throughout a manufacturing facility, which requires digital skills. As there is high demand for employees who can leverage new technologies as a digital economy continues into the next decade, skill gaps must be addressed to meet this demand, NSC said.
"The wide-ranging impact of digital skill gaps across industries makes it clear that policy solutions must be multi-sectoral," Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Senior Fellow at National Skills Coalition said in a statement. "The data illustrates that workers who struggle in one industry because they lack key digital skills can't simply jump to a new industry where such skills are unnecessary." Any solution should include public policy, Bergson-Shilcock said. "Federal and state policymakers can act by investing in upskilling for workers," she said.