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PayScale and Millennial Branding Release Third Annual Study on the State of Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomer Workers

Study highlights Millennials are having a harder time achieving financial independence than previous generations, are more willing to job hop; Report also finds gender wage gap is shrinking

Seattle and Boston – November 19, 2014 - PayScale, Inc., the world's leading provider of on-demand compensation data and software, and Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting company, today announced the third annual comprehensive study comparing career trends amongst Baby Boomer, Gen X and Gen Y/Millennial workers.

 

The report includes data for the following eight items, broken down by these generations:

            • Gen Y: 1982-2002 (ages 18-32)
            • Gen X: 1965-1981 (ages 33-49)
            • Baby Boomer: 1946-1964 (ages 50-68)

  1. The percentage of respondents who live at home, or who have lived at home, since starting their career, broken down by gender, job and degree level.
  2. The breakdown of attitudes about how long workers should be expected to stay in their current job before looking for a new one, overall and by job family.
  3. Characteristics of an ideal manager, overall and by job family.
  4. Characteristics of an ideal job, overall and by job family.
  5. Top 24 skills and top 15 majors, as determined by the relative commonness ratio, and median pay for each.
  6. Underemployment by degree level.
  7. Gender Wage Gap Comparison - Median pay differences by gender and also job level, using controlled pay.
  8. Breakdowns of company size and industry.

"Millennials are the first generation that isn't afraid to fight for equality in the workplace and this study confirms that they are starting to close the gender pay gap that has existed in the American society for decades. In an economy that is still struggling to recover from financial crisis, Millennials are slower to achieve financial independence, even those that have high-level degrees," says Dan Schawbel, Founder of Millennial Branding and New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself. "It also shows that it's going to take even longer for Millennials to bounce back, but they should remain optimistic. They will be the majority of the workforce by 2015."

Highlights from the report include:

  • Millennials are having a much harder time achieving financial independence than previous generations. Twenty-four percent of Millennials who took the PayScale survey said they have had to move back home at some point after entering the workforce due to financial hardship. That’s compared to only 10 percent of Gen Xers and 5 percent of Baby Boomers. The percentage tends to decrease as education increases. However, while only 7 percent of Millennial PhD's have had to move back home, 16 percent of Millennial MDs end up living with mom and dad after graduation.

  • Highly educated millennials are facing higher rates of underemployment. Gen Yers who hold a PhD report being underemployed at a rate of 34 percent, compared to 27 percent for Gen Xers and 25 percent for Boomers. And, Millennial MDs are underemployed at a rate of 30 percent, compared to 22 percent of Gen Xers and 21 percent of Boomers. Underemployment can mean they are underpaid for their education/training, not using their education/training in their current job or are working part-time but seeking full-time work.

  • Millennials are not entering the workforce with the expectation that they will stay with a single employer for long. In fact, 26 percent of Millennials say that workers should only be expected to stay in a job a year or less before looking for a new position. Alternatively, 41 percent of Baby Boomers say workers should stay with an employer at least five years before looking for a new job. Only 13 percent of Millennials agree.

  • The gender wage gap is shrinking. When corrected for job choice, experience and hours worked, the gender wage gap is smaller for members of Generation Y at all job levels than either Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. However, the gap still widens for Gen Y (as it does for all other generations) as responsibility level increases. Female executives across all generations see a greater disparity in pay than individual contributors.

  • Millennials want to own their own business. Millennials don't just have an entrepreneurial spirit, they are more likely than other generations to study majors related to entrepreneurialism.

“While it’s easy to assume Millennials are willing to job hop because they’re less loyal to their employers than previous generations, you have to really look at the current economic climate to understand why that attitude has shifted over time,” said Lydia Frank, Editorial Director, PayScale. “Millennials are often facing higher rates of underemployment, not to mention higher student loan debts, they’re struggling financially when they first enter the job market, so their first job might not be the one they were hoping for. Languishing in a job that doesn’t utilize your education or isn’t paying you what you’re worth isn’t a savvy career decision either. The job market looks different than it did when Gen X and Boomers were first entering it.”

About PayScale

Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world containing 40 million salary profiles, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale’s products are powered by innovative algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index™, PayScale’s subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate™, PayScale Insight™, and PayScale Insight Expert™. PayScale's cloud compensation software is used by more than 2,500 customers including Mozilla, Tully’s Coffee, Clemson University, and the United States Postal Service.

Follow PayScale on Twitter: @payscale

Find PayScale on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PayScale

About Millennial Branding

Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Mass. Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging Gen Y employee by providing research, training, and advisory services. As representatives of Gen Y and advisers to management, our goal is to provide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help you understand your Gen Y employees, and turn you into an industry leader. As ambassadors to Gen Y, we want to give our generation a voice, support their careers, and connect them with brands that understand their needs.