Millennials and Gen Z Are Increasingly Pessimistic About Their Lives, Survey Finds

Bloomberg - By Marie Patino - May 20, 2019, 6:47 AM MDT

Millennials and Gen Z Are Increasingly Pessimistic About Their Lives, Survey Finds
Millennials and Generation Z Are Not Happy With Big Business

Uneasiness and pessimism abound among the majority of the world’s population.

Deloitte has released its Global Millennial Survey of 13,416 Millennials (born between 1983 and 1994) spread across 42 countries and 3,009 Gen Z respondents (born between 1995 and 2002) from 10 countries. The firm has conducted the survey for the past eight years.

The percentage of respondents who think that businesses are making a positive impact dropped six points from 61% in 2018 to 55%.

“I would say that for businesses, the most important takeaway is the continuously diminishing trust of Millennials and Gen Zs, " says Deloitte Global Chief Talent Officer Michele Parmelee.

While the two generations have strikingly similar views of the world, Parmelee said survey data shows that their points of view differ in a few significant areas, such as life priorities and their perception of society and work.

Generally, only about half of both groups aspire to purchase a home, and even fewer desire to start a family. “Instead, travel and seeing the world was at the top of the list (57%) of aspirations,” the report said.

Only 52% of the Millennials surveyed responded that earning a high salary was a top priority while 56% of their Gen Z peers did so. And 39% of the Millennials saw starting a family as very important, while 45% of the younger cohort agreed.

Because some among the Gen Z age group are still studying, they are generally more likely to expect educators to provide them with the skills they’ll need in the labor market. Millennials, on the other hand, expect businesses to give them access to more skills.

Gen Zs are less likely to be dissatisfied with their work situation than Millennials.

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Climate change, protecting the environment and natural disasters topped the list of most respondents on a personal level, but less than three in ten of both the Millennial and Gen Z cohorts cited it as a worry. The next-highest concern for Millennials is income inequality or distribution of wealth. Terrorism, crime and concerns about personal safety were also high on the list.

The 2020 U.S. election will be the first in which nearly all members of Generation Z will be able to cast their vote for president.

The difference between Gen Zs and Millennials is, according to the survey, much more visible when making a comparison across countries. In China and India, Gen Zs were more optimistic about the future. Meanwhile, youth in major economic powers were pessimistic about the world and whether their place in it will improve.

Read More: Millennials are about to be surpassed by Generation Z

Wide-Eyed Youth

Bleak Economic Expectations

Only about one in four respondents said they expect the economic situations in their countries to improve in the year ahead. This low level of positive economic sentiment among Millennials is at its lowest in the six years Deloitte has been asking this question. The decline has been sharp -- this reading has never been lower than 40% in previous surveys.

In another survey record, 49% of Millennials would, if they had a choice, quit their current jobs within the next two years. Dissatisfaction with pay and the lack of advancement opportunities are the top reasons for potential near-term exits. Less than three in ten Millennials expect to stay at their current job for the next five years.