Millennial employees, commonly known as 18-to-34-year-old workers, are taking over the U.S. workforce — and surpassing Generation X, The Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the Pew Research Center, there are nearly 54 million Millennials in the workforce; they make up about a third of all workers. By comparison, Generation X is losing its dominance with about 53 million workers. There are nearly 47 million Baby Boomers and about four million workers from the older Silent Generation.
“With its disproportionately large share of immigrants, and at an age of transition from college to the working world, the millennial generation’s workforce is highly likely to grow even further in the near future,” said Richard Fry, a senior researcher at Pew Research Center.
With Millennials being studied like lab rats in recent years, other new reports have emerged about the young working generation. The Atlantic, for example, points out that experts dubbed Millennials “the cheapest generation” for their supposed disinterest in car ownership, but that claim is unfounded.
“Millennials, or Generation Y (essentially: anybody born in the 1980s or 1990s), now account for 27 percent of new car sales. That’s more than Generation X, and second only to Boomers,” Atlantic wrote.
“Young people are still buying cars, they’re still moving out to the suburbs, and they’re still looking to buy houses in the sunny swoosh that extends from the Carolinas, through Texas, and up into the northwest,” it added.
Millennials are falling second to Boomers in car ownership because, by comparison, rich 20-and-30 Gen Y workers are much more likely to live in dense, urban areas where public transportation is preferred.
As for Millennials not owning homes, that seems to be true. According to the Wall Steet Journal, Generation Y is abstaining from purchasing homes, which is troubling the housing industry. Homeowners under 35-years-old account for just 34.6 percent of the industry. Compare this to 2004’s 43.6 percent.
“The millennials are telling us they want to own a home eventually, no different from the aspirations of their parents or grandparents,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae. “But they’re not in a hurry. They still need some income rebuilding.”
In an interesting twist, the National Student Clearinghouse Center has found that more millennials are bypassing college and heading directly to the workforce, which Bloomberg says is a sign that the job market is improving. The schools most impacted are community colleges and for-profit schools, which have come under heightened scrutiny of late.
“While more working adults are shunning higher education, enrollment of traditional students who go to college fresh out of high school was unchanged,” Bloomberg writes.
Whether you like it or not, Millennials are the future of the workforce. And they have different attitudes and expectations, Fast Company reports, than their older generations, so it’s about time employers adjust and adapt to the new influx of workers.