Millennials increasingly enter full-time work, but delay other life events
- Despite feeling more stable economically, U.S. millennials are still delaying marriage, home ownership, new business ventures and other major life decisions, according to a new EY survey of 1,200 U.S. citizens between the ages of 20 and 36. EY found that millennials fall behind previous generations in these areas even as more of them have entered full-time employment since 2016.
- Key results from the survey show that 40% of millennial women are mothers, compared to 57% of Generation X women when they were the same age. Additionally, 40% of millennials own their own homes, while 45% of Gen Xers and baby boomers were homeowners at a comparative age. The Great Recession impacted millennials significantly, with 75% worrying that Social Security won't be available upon retirement, and 70% worry about not having enough money for retirement.
- Millennials in the survey may also defy common perceptions, EY said. A majority in the study (86%) believe working hard "is the key to getting ahead in life," and over one-third said that staying at, and working one's way up within, one company is "the best way to advance your career."
In order to ensure employers are offering the correct benefits to younger workers, HR may need to understand broader social trends, experts have previously told HR Dive.
Statistically, many are not saving for retirement, while a majority also struggle with student debt and other financial stressors. Employers can be a source of information and guidance for employees experiencing these problems, and research has shown that employees want and need their employer to provide financial education and assistance. Millennials are also career-focused, which makes development opportunities crucial in their process of choosing between employment offers.
Millennials came of age during the Great Recession, which likely explains some of the attitudes reflected in EY's survey. Debt burdens can leave workers of all generations hesitant about making substantial financial investments like buying a home or starting a new business. Some employers have responded to this financial crisis by providing student-loan payback or reduction programs to help millennials and their families pay down debts.