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More millennials see themselves leaving jobs in next two years, gig economy is alternative

May 23, 2018

More millennials see themselves leaving their jobs within the next two years, and a majority see the gig economy as a viable alternative, according to Deloitte’s seventh annual Millennial Survey.

Among millennials, 43% envision leaving their jobs within two years, up from 38% in last year’s survey, and only 28% look to stay beyond five years, down from 31% last year. Among millennials who would willingly leave their employers within the next two years, 62% regard the gig economy as a viable alternative to full-time employment.

Among Gen Z employees, 61% say they would leave their current jobs within two years if given the choice.

Good pay and positive cultures are most likely to attract both millennials and Gen Z, but diversity/inclusion and flexibility are important keys to keeping them happy, the report found. Those working for employers perceived to have diverse workforces and senior management teams are more likely to want to stay five or more years. And among millennial and Gen Z respondents who said they intend to stay with their current employers for at least five years, 55% noted greater flexibility in where and when they work now compared to three years ago.

Many respondents, especially in emerging markets, view the gig economy as an attractive alternative or adjunct to their jobs. Among those millennials who would willingly leave their employers within the next two years, 62% regard the gig economy as a viable alternative to full-time employment, as compared to 49% of those looking to stay at their current organizations for more than five years. And the pull is not something that appeals to only those in junior roles. Seven in 10 millennials who are members of senior management teams or on boards would consider taking on short-term contracts or freelance work as an alternative to full-time employment. This compares to 57% of those occupying junior roles.

The research also found millennials’ opinions about business’ motivations and ethics, which had trended up the past two years, took a sharp turn downward. The current survey found that less than half of millennials, 48%, believe businesses behave ethically — down from 65% in 2017. And 47% believe that business leaders are committed to helping improve society, down from 62% in the year-ago survey.

“The fluctuating loyalty levels showcase a unique opportunity for businesses to double-down on attracting and retaining talent,” said Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global talent leader. “Businesses need to listen to what millennials are telling us and reimagine how business approaches talent management in Industry 4.0, placing a renewed focus on learning and development to help all people grow in their careers throughout their lifetimes.”

The report is based on a survey of more than 10,455 millennials questioned across 36 countries and 1,844 Gen Z respondents in Australia, Canada, China, India, the UK and the US. It was conducted from Nov. 24. 2017, through Jan. 15, 2018.


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