Next Phase Network conducted our first ever online survey of working professionals in the USA to gauge the current, historical and future employment and financial outlook. While some of the data was as anticipated (overall, working professionals are much more optimistic about their future than 5 years ago), there were some findings that were rather surprising, particularly for Generation X and Baby Boomers.
For Generation X and Boomers the recovery has been slow going. While 31% of the respondents indicated that financially speaking they’re much better off than 10 years ago, when the data is cross-tabulated with age, the data starts to tell a different story. Generation X into the late boomers, which is those who range today in age from 38-51, shows a particularly troublesome figure. 43% of Generation X respondents indicated their financial condition is about the same or worse than 10 years ago. This is troublesome as these individuals are supposed to be in their “peak earning years”.
When looking at Boomer responses, 35% cited their financial condition was “much worse” than 10 years ago.
Out of both Gen X and Boomer categories, most that indicated they were financially better off commented that the reason for this was either that they had gotten their kids through college or started their own business.
While most US workers feel their current employment situation is more secure than in the past, job security is still a concern. Of the total respondents (regardless of age) 36.5% found they felt somewhat not secure to not secure at all in their current role; over a quarter of that group felt not secure at all. Close to 1/3 of the respondents were very sure or somewhat sure that their employer would have some layoffs over the next 12 months, while another 21% indicated they weren’t sure. It was also interesting to find that almost a third (28%) of the respondents indicated “not applicable”, meaning that they were self-employed and not dependent on an employer for their source of income.
20% of overall respondents have had 4 or more full time jobs over the past 5 years. And the job/career changes were mostly not their choice. Over half of all respondents have changed jobs at least once in the past 5 years, mostly not due to their choice (38% have been laid off at least once; 12% of the total have been laid off more than once over the past 5 years).
Frankly, if you haven’t thrown out the idea that you need to find someone that has been with the same company for more than 5 years because it is a gauge of their loyalty, stability, etc., you need to. For Gen Xers –almost 45% have had 2 to 3 full time jobs in the past 5 years and 22% have had more than 4 full-time jobs in the past 5 years. For Millennials — 36% have had 2 to 3 full time jobs in the past 5 years and 28% have had more than 4 full time jobs in the past 5 years. Even Boomers, who most people would think have had the most stable job history have switched jobs over the past 5 years – a full quarter of the respondents indicated they’ve held 4 or more full time jobs over the past 5 years – that’s an average of 15 months of full time employment at each job per year over the past 5 years.
Next week we will cover: Career instability, multi-jobbing, retirement and what this means for your business!