Best practices for navigating generative AI's growing role in the workforce
The number of full-time Gen Z workers in the U.S. is set to surpass baby boomers in the first few months of 2024, according to a new report from Glassdoor Economic Research.
The report, released Wednesday, examined U.S. Census Bureau data, and found that the number of full-time Gen Z and boomer workers in the American workforce is currently about even.
As older workers continue retiring en masse and more young Americans reach working age, Gen Z is set to rapidly overtake the boomer generation, which made up the largest share of the U.S. workforce from the late 1970s until around 2011, according to the report.
Baby boomers are considered to be those born between 1946 and 1964, while Gen Zers are those born from the late 1990s until around 2012.
Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1980, took over as the dominant working generation in the U.S. in 2012 before they were overtaken by millennials, born between Gen X and Gen Z, in 2018.
Millennials have since remained the dominant working generation, and won’t be overtaken by Gen Z until the early 2040s, the report estimates.
“The coming year will still represent a pivotal moment of cultural change that U.S. companies cannot ignore as Gen Z workers – who care deeply about community connections, about having their voices heard in the workplace, about transparent and responsive leadership, and about diversity and inclusion – make up a rapidly growing share of the workforce,” the report said.
CANADIAN LABOUR DEMOGRAPHICS
Canada is experiencing a similar shift in demographics, with the number of retiring baby boomers expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
But experts predict this will only exacerbate existing labour shortages, as there aren’t enough young workers to replace the boomers exiting the workforce.
Canada's labour force growth rate has been trending downward since 2000, but the trend has intensified in recent years. This "grey wave" has been on the horizon for a while, but experts say it's now crashing ashore.
According to Statistics Canada, between 2016 and 2021 more than 1.4 million Canadians entered the ranks of those aged 55 and older, and in 2021, one in five Canadians of working age were aged 55 to 64.
As demographics continue to shift, office culture is expected to follow.
For example, employers are still struggling to find the “new normal” when it comes to remote work, as many young professionals now expect flexible work profiles, even as companies have attempted to enforce stricter in-office policies.
A recent survey of Canadian professionals by human resources firm Robert Half found that three in four respondents said a flexible work schedule is the top perk they look for in a job.
Separate Robert Half research also suggests that younger Canadian professionals have different views on certain long-standing office taboos such as discussing your salary with colleagues.
In an August survey, the firm found that 86 per cent of Gen Zers and 59 per cent of millennials reported discussing salaries with their work colleagues, while just 40 per cent of Gen Xers and 41 per cent of baby boomers said they do the same.
With files from The Canadian Press