Gen Y On the Job Methodology

Overview and Notes:

All data used to produce PayScale's Gen Y on the Job Report were collected from employees who successfully completed PayScale's employee survey.

We have included data 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)

Sample Size and Collection Period:

The sample size for each generation was 355,504 respondents for Gen Y; 523,404 respondents for Gen X; and 278,472 respondents for Baby Boomers collected over a two-year period (10/1/2012 to 10/1/2014).


Total Cash Compensation (TCC): TCC combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or value of other non-cash benefits (e.g., healthcare).  

Typical Median Pay: The median pay is the national median (50th Percentile) annual total cash compensation.  Half of the people doing the job earn more than the median, while half earn less.

Range in pay within a job can be very wide depending upon years of experience, scope of responsibility, location of work, etc.  For example, pay can be higher than the stated median pay if the worker has more responsibility, chooses a higher paying field, or works in a city with a high cost of living like New York. 

Generation: Generations as defined by the year workers were born in: Gen Y (1982-2002), Gen X (1965-1981), and Baby Boomer (1946-1964). 

Major: Educational majors as defined by the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) taxonomic scheme (See here).

Live at Home: The percentage of respondents who answered "Yes, I live there now," or "Yes, this has happened to me in the past" to the question, "Has financial hardship forced you to move back into your parents' home since starting your career?"

Length of Role: The percentage breakdown of answers for the question, "How long do you think somebody should stay in a role before they find a new job?"

Ideal Manager: The percentage of each generation who selected a given answer to the multiple answer question, "What are the characteristics of an ideal manager?"

Valued Job Attributes: The percentage of each generation who selected a given answer to the multiple answer question, "Besides pay, what do you value most in a job?"

Common Skills: The most popular abilities central to the job, determined by relative commonness ratio, per generation. 

Common Majors: The most popular majors, determined by relative commonness ratio, per generation. 

Controlled Median Pay: A relative pay measure calculated by holding all factors constant except for gender. This helps account for differences in position, experience and many other factors which may influence pay. It is important to note that typically when these outside factors are controlled for, any gap in pay is significantly reduced.

Percentage Difference: The difference in Median Pay between males and females. 

Relative Commonness Ratio: The ratio of commonness for a given job or skill and generation combination relative to how common the job or skill is nationally, i.e. Blogging is 2.81x more common among Gen Y than it is nationally.

% Underemployed:  This is the percent of respondents who answered "Yes" to the question "Do you consider yourself underemployed?"  or answered "I'm not sure" and did not answer "I am happily employed" when further prompted "Tell us more about your employment situation."

Company Size: The number of employees in an organization.

Degree Level: The highest degree level achieved.

Industry: Defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy (See here).