Gen Z job market turnover set to exceed 2022 levels

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If you think the Great Resignation is over, think again.

The latest snapshot of the job market by recruiting giant Robert Half shows that more Generation Z workers are likely to change jobs in 2023 than last year.

About 60% of 18- to 25-year-olds said they would likely to change jobs in early 2023, up from 53% last year. More than 50% of employees with two to four years at a company and working parents also said they were looking.

As the U.S. economy emerged from pandemic disruption in 2021, nearly 50 million people quit their jobs, a record. Even more workers — 50.5 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — resigned last year.

The youngest workers came out of the pandemic wanting bigger paychecks — and then “an extremely flexible work schedule.” Work-life balance was most important for 45% of Gen Z and 40% of millennials, said Jennifer Carlson, vice president and region director of Robert Half for the Twin Cities.

In contrast, only 30% of surveyed baby boomers insisted on flexible schedules during their job hunt.

“We do know there are clear preferences for younger people to work in as agile and flexible a work situation as they can find,” Carlson said. “That is clear as a bell.”

It also should not be a surprise, said Lola Brown, 22, a student and employee at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota — and soon to be a job hunter. This spring, she plans to quit her job, move to Washington, D.C., and hopefully find work as a policy analyst.

If the pandemic taught Gen Z-ers anything, “it’s that everything can change on a dime,” she said. They have “to be nimble and to pivot.”

The pandemic also changed how young employees view employers, she and other young workers said.

“There’s a new recognition of what is fair and expected, whether that be how much I am in the office or how much sick time (I get). It is not the same as pre-pandemic,” Brown said.

The 350,000-member Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found other triggers can make young workers leave.

Nearly 70% of those who work remotely said in a SHRM survey they would look for another job before returning to the office full time.

“If you are young, that number jumps to 79%,” said SHRM Chief Human Resource Officer Jim Link. “Is that not incredible?”

Younger workers, he said, aren’t fazed by big tech company layoffs or rumors about a recession.

“While the layoffs are grabbing headlines in the market place and prompting worry, it’s not what is happening in greater America,” he said.

In looking for other jobs, young workers want psychological safety. “They want a purpose fit, fulfillment and the right culture,” one where they can speak their minds without fear of being fired or ostracized, said Jessica Kriegel, chief scientist of workplace culture at the firm Culture Partners.

Tribune News Service

 

 

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