Generation Y, those born between 1980 and 1994, are changing careers more than previous generations. They are post-linear in their job outlook, and will work across multiple jobs and sectors throughout their career.
They are an entrepreneurial generation, largely because they have the technology enablement to start businesses or to find new roles. They are able to plug back into education more regularly to upskill or retrain.
The flexibility of this life stage enables Generation Y to try new endeavours. They have a little more financial backing during this particular life stage, and they don’t have the same commitments as they move into their thirties as their parents did at the same age, like children and mortgages. This has enabled them to be more career mobile than their parents were at the same age.
The downside of heading out from a stable job to try something new is that it might not work out financially. The challenge of not having a mortgage to pay is that it can leave the thirty-somethings, perhaps when they are in their forties, further behind financially than where their parents were at the same age.
And so while it’s not as exciting to join the career ladder and climb the rungs, it does provide the benefit of long term earnings. Locking into the mortgage does have the asset-appreciation benefit, and therefore a retirement vehicle that we know is important as Australians move into the later years of their life.
You can find out more about Mark McCrindle here, or to have him present at your next event, please get in touch.
Last Friday morning, it was our privilege to co-host the SMART Breakfast Seminar alongside NBRS Architecture at Macquarie University.
Thank you to Macquarie University for hosting us at their brand-new facility, designed by NBRS Architecture and of course a big thank you to all those in attendance. For those who missed the morning, here is an event recap.
The morning kicked off with a delicious breakfast and a time of networking with McCrindle and NBRS clients.
After a warm welcome from our MC Eliane Miles, Mark McCrindle opened the morning by providing a snapshot of our changing nation with the just-released census data. As we approach the next decade, Mark had a look back at the last decade and uncovered some of the megatrends that are redefining our multigenerational workforce.
We then heard from McCrindle’s Team Leader of Communications, Ashley Fell. Ashley gave us an insight into how our world is changing, therefore how our workplace leadership needs changing. Ashley shared the engagement equation on how to create culture, purpose and impact in our workplaces.
Next, it was over to NBRS, the brilliant architects who designed the new Macquarie University building. Directors, Andrew Duffin and James Ward shared how their vision for the muli-purpose conference facility was inspired by a new style of working space for academic institutions.
James Ward helped us understand workspaces in academia and the trends that present a blueprint for a new working environment.
Andrew Duffin, design director for the Macquarie University project, deconstructed the latest architectural trends for work, learning and living and how to create smart work spaces.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our valued clients and friends who attended the breakfast. Be sure to look out for our future events taking place in Sydney, and if you're interested in having one our McCrindle Speakers present at your next event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
At McCrindle, our team of professional speakers are in demand for their ability to clearly communicate the insights in engaging ways. Presenting at a variety of national and international events including keynote addresses at conferences, onsite professional development workshops and strategy briefings for senior leaders, the McCrindle speakers are recognised as leaders in tracking emerging issues, researching social trends, and are regarded as expert social researchers, futurists and story tellers.
We were delighted to partner with Contiki to conduct new research into the aspirations, behaviours and fears of young Australians (18-36 years of age). The Contiki 2017 Youth Evolution Report explores some of the key trends influencing their attitude and lifestyle.
Feeling left behind
There is a strong sentiment among young people, specifically those aged 18-21, that they are being left behind economically. Especially in an era of flat wages growth and huge increases in home and living costs. Two decades ago, the average Sydney house price was around six times the average annual full time income. Today this has skyrocketed to 14 times the average annual full time income.
Ten years ago, over a third (34%) of 18-34 year olds indicated they were saving for a home, while this has dropped to below a quarter (24%) today. A significant two in five (40%) 18-21 year olds fear they will never be able to own a home. “We think of younger generations as having a youthful idealism and optimism, but this research shows young adults are not feeling as positive”, says Mark McCrindle.
Over half (51%) of 18-21 year olds fear not being able to live out their dreams due to financial and time constraints and 42% already regret not saving enough.
“The students of today are going to be the most formally educated generation to date; it is predicted that one in two will obtain a university degree. However, so too will they have higher amounts of debt when they enter the workforce; in fact, they might be the first generation since the Great Depression who will end up economically worse than their parents,”. - Mark McCrindle
Travel is a priority
Despite financial constraints and complexities regarding an independent lifestyle, 76% of 18-21 year olds want to travel more.
Although more than two thirds (69%) of this age group has the desire for financial freedom, just beyond this is their desire to travel and see the world (64%).
Around a third are also willing to go into debt for travel (36% of 18-21, and 39% of 22-36 year olds).
Delaying traditional life markers
With a focus on lifestyle rather than just wealth accrual, the emerging generations are spending more time living at home. They are also delaying traditional benchmarks of adulthood such as buying their first home, marrying, or starting a family.
A third of Australians (32%) aged between 18-36 years old continue to live in the parental home. This is a mix of both those who have never moved out as well as those who have moved back in with their parents. This is often due to high costs of living; labelling them as the “boomerang generation”.
Even though they are happy to live with mum and dad, this generation is very aspirational, with two in five 18-21 year olds (41%) stating they would not be happy if they ended up in a similar financial situation and lifestyle as their parents (cf. 33% of 22-36 y/o).
More socially aware
Despite their daily struggles, young Aussies care about the world they live in and are more socially aware than previous generations. The research found that climate change (18-21: 26%), gender equality (15%) and racism (12%) are issues that are high on young millennials’ agenda. The report also revealed that almost one in five (18%) 18-21 year olds already regret not making more of a difference in the world (cf. 22-36: 12%; 37+: 10%).
We think of the younger generations having youthful idealism and optimism yet the 2017 Global Millennial Study by Deloitte shows that the 20’s and early 30-somethings are not feeling optimistic.
Just 1 in 4 believes the year ahead will see an improvement politically and again a minority- only 1 in 3 believe we will see an uptick economically.
Where’s our share?
While it is little surprise that their number one concern is terrorism/political tension (56% are concerned), the second biggest concern (43%) is income inequality. There is a strong feeling amongst Generation Y (Millennials) that they are being left behind in this era of flat wages growth and massive home and living cost increases. Our recent ABS income and wealth analysis shows that Gen Y as a whole have 7% of Australia’s private wealth while they are more than twice this (15%) of the population while the older Boomers have an economic share three times that of their population share. There is a growing series of forecasts indicating that this may well be the first generation since the Great Depression which will end up behind their parents economically.
Big challenges but are they too big…
This study shows that Millennials, particularly in the developed world feel somewhat disempowered with a sense of high responsibility yet low influence to shape the challenges of the environment, social equality and direction of the country.
They are key contributors to society and believe that working within the system rather than radically fighting against it in a revolutionary approach is the best way forward.
Moving on…but to full time roles
Almost 1 in 2 (48%) expect to leave their current role within 2 years while less than 1 in 3 (31%) plan on still being there in 5 years. While the gig economy sounds exciting, almost three times as many (70%) would prefer full time work than a freelance work life (25%). Yet the challenge for Australian Gen Y’s is that while unemployment is still quite low (5.7%), the workforce is trending away from full time roles. In the last year, the Australian economy has added 130,000 part time roles but lost 40,000 full time roles.
The dot com kids see the downside of tech
Millennials are more negative than positive when it comes to technology particularly regarding the impacts it is having in the workforce. While it aids productivity, economic growth and flexibility, the majority of this generation believe that it will force them to retrain (51%) and that it is making the workplace more impersonal and less human (53%).
But they are warm towards Gen Z
The new next generation (Gen Z, born since 1995) is well regarded by Gen Y with most Y’s (53%) believing that the next generation will positively transform the workplace.
They also believe that Gen Z are well equipped and “futureproofed” in the workplace because of their creativity, flexibility and engaging leadership style.
Australia is home to 24,341,000 people living in more than 9 million households comprised of more than 300 different ancestries. And while Australians are anything but average, what would a statistically “average” Aussie look like?
Statistically, they are more likely to be female (50.5% of the population) than male (49.5%).
The average Australian is an older Gen Y or younger Gen Xer (born between 1979 and 1981), aged 37 (36 for a male and 38 for a female).
Australians at birth can expect a life expectancy to exceed 80 years, with women on average outliving men by 4 years.
However, our average 36 year old male can expect to live another 45.5 years to 81.5 while the average 38 year old female should get another 47.3 years of life expectancy, taking her to 85.3.
The average Australian adult is employed most likely full time (68% of all employees), gets to work by car (69% of all commuters) and is probably earning $60,330 per year (average of all employees, before tax). After tax, and as a household, their total disposable annual income is $88,551.
They will take 4 days of sick/carers leave (5 for women) and 16 days annual leave in a year and work on average 32 hours per week (women) or 41 hours per week (men).
They live in a capital city (3 in 5 of us) in a household of around 3 people, have around 2 cars for their household, and average 14,000 kilometres per year.
They are paying off their 3-bedroom home, they have lived there for 5 years and have $427,847 equity in their home which is the bulk of their wealth. And they have $65,880 worth of stuff - the total of all of their other household possessions (furniture, equipment, household goods – but not house and cars).
The average Australian identifies their religion as Christianity (61%), has completed Year 12, and gone on to complete a post-secondary qualification. They most likely have had a child, and they live in a household with a pet.
The average Australian man is 178cm tall and weighs 85kg while the average woman is 164cm and weighs 68 kg. The World Health Organisation states that a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 to 29 is overweight which is where the average Australian sits with 27 for a male and 26 for a female.
But they are doing something about it and exercise on average 3 times per week, getting 7.2 hours of sleep per night and they also have private health insurance.
And on average they’ve most likely experienced and contributed to the great Australian value of community and mateship. It is a “come in for a cuppa” culture that gives a “no worries” welcome to someone regardless of how average or not they may be.
Australians want to be seen as being social and yet often prefer the comfort of their own home to going out and socialising. 45% of Australians always prefer to stay home, no matter what night of the week it is and a further 73% have turned down an invitation to go out on the basis that they preferred to stay home. Highlights from our recent research commissioned Connoisseur Desserts show that the typical Australian is making pretty similar choices when it comes to their social lives and (not) going on a night out.
77% of us report to dropping in on social events just to show our faces all, a lot or some of the time. For nearly 20% of 20-34 year olds, a ‘drop in’ often means attending more than one event on a night out – really making the most of rare occasion to socialise out of home.
69% of us are happy to cancel plans in the week of the event, and 14% admit they’ll drop out on the day. Seems old fashioned politeness goes out the window across all generations with one in three bailing on the day before/day off/at the time.
While spring and summer are the more social seasons for Australians, there is a lot of bailing out of events and catch ups in our increasingly busy lives. And ditching on work functions and colleague catch ups is where the piking happens most.
Avoiding the awkies
Seems some of us will go to extreme lengths to avoid the awkwardness that results from our bad bailing behaviour and will RSVP at the last minute (17%), send word with someone else (16%), avoid posting on social media what we’re doing instead (13%), avoid all contact with the organiser (10%) or avoid telling the organiser altogether (7%). The worst culprits, 20-34 year olds.
What happened to mateship?
The people who we are most likely to ditch are colleagues (41%) and friends (40%). Only 3% are most likely to bail on partners (phew!) and 16% on family events.
We are most likely to cancel our attendance at work functions (24%) and casual catch ups with friends (22%). Conversely, 34% of 20-24 year olds are more likely to bail on drinks with friends than on work functions (7%).
The fall back excuse for last minute cancellations is feeling unwell for 66% of us. Family commitments are the next most used excuse at 36%, and a sick family member at 23%. Lame excuses such as stuck in traffic (6%) and a sick pet (4%) make the list. Just 11% of people chose to fess up that they just don’t want to go.
Loving our downtime
For most of us, cancelling plans to go out means we’ve chosen instead a night spent relaxing on the couch (34%), sleeping (32%), watching TV (23%), or hanging out with a loved one (30%).
It’s really interesting to see the rising trend towards staying in. It demonstrates the impact that technology has on every aspect of our lives – including redefining our social interactions and what that means for human relationships in the future. An indulgent night in and eating a favourite dessert in front the TV is fast becoming a socially acceptable and often, preferred form of entertainment in our increasingly busy and complex lives.
It’s official. A night on the couch bingeing on a favourite TV series is the best kind of night! New research reveals we love treating ourselves to an indulgent night in, and we regularly bail on plans made with friends, work mates and family in the process. It’s called faux-cialising and it’s rampant across Australia!
We were delighted to partner with Connoisseur Desserts to conduct new research into Australians aged 18 and over, and their social habits. According to the research, 73% of Aussies aged 18 and over regularly faux-cilise – cancelling social plans just to stay home to watch TV and experience the night they would have had via social media.
So what has prompted the rise of the faux-cialiser? Mark McCrindle points to a hectic work schedule, the comforts of home, and entertainment at our fingertips, which is making faux-cilising a growing trend in our (increasingly less) social lives.
The research shows Australians fall into four categories when it comes to their attitudes and behaviours towards social plans:
FOMO (fear of missing out) is very real and increasingly this group is predominantly men, aged 25 – 54 (the group least likely to faux-cialise).
The Wait and Sees
Commitment-phobes who are men and women represented by 43% of 35-54 year olds (who do admit to faux-ialising regularly).
Legitimising a night on the couch as the entertainment option of choice. This group is embracing faux-cialism and is strongly represented by women (64%) aged 35-54 (72%).
Those who preferring to stay home all of the time and are embracing JOMO (joy of missing out) as a way of life (79% aged 35+). This type of faux-cialiser is equally represented by both men and women.
Highlights from the research show that despite these nuances, the typical Australian is making pretty similar choices when it comes to their social lives and (not) going on a night out.
Home is where the heart is
When asked what night was their favourite night of the week to stay in, a whopping 45% of Australians reported they prefer to always stay home. Only 1% said they’d prefer to go out every night.
When we do make plans, we’re displaying a real fear of commitment! While we initially get excited about the opportunity to socialise on a night out, 62% of us will stall on making a decision, preferring to wait to see how we feel closer to the time or on the day. This rings true across all age brackets.
77% of us report to dropping in on social events just to show our faces all, a lot or some of the time. Not surprisingly, the Homebodies and Bailers are the most likely to do the drop in. For nearly 20% of 20-34 year olds, a ‘drop in’ often means attending more than one event on a night out – really making the most of the rare occasion to socialise out of home.
Self-care is the main motivation for cancelling plans with 42% feeling the need to relax and recharge and another 40% seeking the peace and quiet of a night in. Bad weather (30%) and not being bothered to get dressed up (26%) are the next most popular reasons to bail.
As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. Last week our Principal, Mark McCrindle and Team Leader of Communications, Ashley McKenzie were featured in the media about Generation Y and their ability to access the housing market in Sydney.
Generation Y are today’s 22 – 36 year olds, and make up 22% of the Australian population (5.22 million). They also make up the largest cohort in the current workforce (34%). Gen Y’s are comprised of today’s parents, senior leaders, influencers, and increasingly wealth accumulators. With 1 in 3 being university educated (compared to 1 in 5 Baby Boomers), they have grown up in shifting times and are digital in nature, global in outlook and are living in accelerated demographic times.
While Generation Y are often accused of living a lavish lifestyle, which supposedly locks them out of the property market, it is important to remember that traditional expense categories such as food, transport, health and housing costs are higher for younger people today than that experienced by their parents at the same age. A generation ago the average house price was 5 times annual average earnings while today the average house price is 13 times the average annual full-time earnings.
Here is a quick snapshot of last week’s media coverage:
Housing Affordability Debate
"From the Baby Boomer perspective, they worked hard, they earned what they had but I can also see the Gen Y perspective. The reality is that it's a lot harder to buy a home, the costs have gone up. Gen Y do have to pay off the debt of their degree and there are new categories of spend; technology, internet and phone, costs that their parents didn’t have."
Parental help becoming essential for young people trying to buy property
"Ms McKenzie, who works for social researcher Mark McCrindle, said borrowing from parents was becoming Sydney’s “new normal”.
“Baby Boomers control about 50 per cent of the nation’s wealth so it makes sense young people look to their parents for help,” she said."
For any media enquiries please email us at email@example.com, or call our offices on +61 2 8824 3422. To arrange a media interview or if you are a journalist and would like to receive our media updates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teachers, employers and parents want to see younger people reach their potential, however the problem is that the pathway to productivity and living a life of high capacity and great quality is not a straight line for Gen Y and Gen Z’s. In an era of increasing change, greater complexity and global mega-trends these younger generations need mentors to grow them, guide them and give them the feedback they need to develop and mature.
At McCrindle we know these younger generations and we believe in their potential to achieve greatness. Managers, CEO’s, team leaders, teachers and parents have a unique opportunity to mentor these younger generations through formal and informal conversations. Gen Y and Z’s are keen be mentored. That means they want to be listened to, not lectured at, encouraged and asked open-ended questions that help their decision making process.
The goal of mentoring young people is to expand their values and worldview, strengthen their character and enlarge their personal and professional capacity. These younger generations desire opportunities for personal growth through a friendly and supportive partnership.
Mentors and leaders in society today have an opportunity to shape these younger generations. The challenge mentors often face is around how to turn general conversations into character and skill development.
7 Developmental Areas mentors need to cover
PRIORITIES: Help these generations focus amongst digital distractions
RESILIENCE: Highlight their current experience and strengths to provide assurance in anxious moments
AUTHENTICITY: Showcase the benefits of community in and above digital connectivity
INSIGHT: Provide greater vision to make wise life decisions
ENERGY: Encourage decisiveness to remove blockers, overcome obstacles and move forward
BALANCE: Teach them how to say a positive 'no' in a busy ‘yes’ work/life culture, to maintain a healthy lifestyle
GREATNESS: Inspire the best in these young people as they move through the transitional stages of life.
Understanding the next generation of volunteers and donors
A specific area of focus in the 2016 Australian Communities Report is analysis of volunteers and supporters aged under 30 and in this session, Geoff Brailey, Research Executive at McCrindle Research, will share the findings as well as give practical insights on engaging young people in community organisations and developing the leadership capacity of the next generation of staff and volunteers.
Analysis by Eliane Miles on new research released this week from the OECD highlights the challenge for young people entering their working years, particularly considering their transition from education.
While unemployment in Australia at just 5.6% is one of the lowest in the OECD, the number of Australian young people not in education, employment, or training (NEETs) has increased by 100,000 since the time prior to the Global Financial Crisis (2008), rising from 10.5% to 11.8% of all those aged 16 to 24 – comprising a total of 580,000 young people today.
The challenges affecting youth unemployment most often lie in a young person’s transition periods. It is normal for young people to spend some time out of education and work – in fact, 2 in 3 young people aged 16 to 24 will spend up to 3 months out of education and work – but the challenge becomes when this period of time becomes greater and the ‘relevance clock’ begins to tick. When 3 months eventuates into a year, or longer, this can lead to cycles of unemployment. Today, 1 in 5 young people aged 16 to 24 spend 12 months or more out of employment, education, or training, and it is these young people that will face the most significant challenges as they try to enter or re-enter the workforce.
The demographic realities play a significant risk factor in young people falling into a cycle of unemployment. 60% of NEETS are women, and while just 3% of young people are indigenous, this percentage rises to 10% among NEETs. There is also a strong correlation between low educational attainment and struggles in entering the workforce - 37% of students who leave school in Year 10 end up not being in education, employment, or training, compared with just 11% of those with a tertiary qualification.
Watch Eliane Miles on 7 News below:
240,000 young people looking for work
Young people out of work are often stereotyped as “slackers” but in fact 41% of NEETs (238,000) are actively looking for work but unable to find a job. Helping these young people find work needs to become a national priority and a focus needs to be given to their education to employment transition. Studies tell us that the key transition in a young person’s life is from learning to earning – from study to employment. If young people are not job ready, they should be directed to a course or traineeship that will help them get job-ready. Greater collaboration between actors (schools, VET providers, tertiary providers, employment services, childcare providers, and employers) is needed, along with a broader focus on not just higher education but vocational learning.
The remaining 59% who are inactive NEETS
Questions are then most often asked about inactive NEETs – the 40% of NEETs who say they would not like a job, and the 19% who would like a job but aren’t currently looking. What is it that has discouraged them or dissuaded them from entering the workforce?
Educationally, we are seeing a significant push towards tertiary educational attainment. A generation ago in 1986, more than half of all students left school in Year 10 with most going on to start work/vocational training. Today, 9 in 10 young people go on to complete Year 12, and the majority of these enter higher education. Nationally, however, 1 in 5 university students drop out in their first year of university, clearly not being ready for the task at hand or convinced of the choice they have made.
And while we are seeing an increase in university qualifications (our predictions estimate that 1 in 2 Gen Z will have a university qualification compared to 1 in 3 Gen Ys and 1 in 4 Gen Xs), we must keep in mind that everything is not just about higher education or STEM skills. It’s about developing a broad skills base that will continue to sustain Australia’s growing economic and demographic footprint.
Challenges in the skills sector
While the VET sector has seen a 50% increase in students placed in apprenticeships since the early 2000s, the sector is also subject to significant inefficiencies. Traineeship and apprenticeship completion rates are low, qualifications are hard to navigate, some federal funding for programs has been withdrawn, and employment service providers geographically only target 60% of NEETs, leaving 200,000 youth un-serviced by employment services.
The benefits of work are more than just economic
In conversations with young people, it serves us to be reminded that jobs do more good for all of us than just money. They provide a young person with a sense of independence, self-esteem, and social connection, as well as the ability to learn and stay future-proofed. The longer that young people stay out of employment, the more they are to lose connection and become social disenfranchised, leading to greater problems.
The challenge of entry will only accelerate
As we look ahead to the next 10-15 years of Australia’s job market, we estimate that 5.1 million of Australia’s jobs will become digitally disrupted. Today’s savvy school leaver is training themselves for jobs that don’t yet exist. The reality is that new jobs which will be created are more complex than the jobs they replace. If a young person is locked out of the workforce today, it is likely that they will face an even more difficult re-entry in years ahead as the skills required to fulfilk workforce demands increase.
The challenge of financial independence will also accelerate
Commonwealth funding will increasingly become tighter. The economy has natural limits, and supporting an ageing population base and those with disabilities is naturally a more pressing national priority than supporting those who can work but are choosing not to. It’s just a matter of time before government benefits to NEETs will dry up.
Having said that, it’s also important to remember that 25% of inactive NEETs and 41% of NEETs looking for work in fact have not received any government benefits to support them. For these young people, support has largely fallen back to the informal economy, with support provided by family members and friends.
The earnings challenge for today’s emerging generation
It is in fact more financially difficult to get ahead early in life than it once was. In the 1970s, for example, when many Baby Boomers graduated from university, the average graduate starting salary was equal to the average full time adult wage, while today the average graduate starting salary of $54,000 is $26,000 less than average full time annual earnings. Student debt is also higher than ever, with more than 1 in 3 (34%) registered debt agreements belonging to 25-34 year-olds, and the average university debt estimated to be around $28,000. Today’s young generations are actually beginning their earning years in more debt than we’ve seen before. Not to mention the multi-fold increase in the cost of housing – a generation ago the average Sydney house price was 5 times annual average earnings while today the average house price is 13 times the average annual full time earnings of $80,000.
Keeping it in perspective
If young people can continue to accelerate their learning, they’ll have greater chances of success. Just 11% of bachelor-degree educated young people are still looking for full time work within 4 months of completing their course, and the strength of Australia’s economy is creating positive opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship for young people to place their stamp on Australia's future.
ABOUT ELIANE MILES
Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.
From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.
With academic qualifications in community engagement and postgraduate studies in international development and global health, Eliane brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting. As a social researcher, she has been interviewed on these topics on prominent television programs such as National Nine News and Today, as well as on radio and in online media.
To have Eliane Miles present to your organisation on Generation Z, the state of today’s education sector, or the future world of work, contact McCrindle at email@example.com or call 02 8824 3422