Australian youngsters are largely resigned to being less well off than their parents and less happy too.
More than 10,000 people aged from 24 to 35 (born between 1983 and 1994) in 36 countries, including Australia, were questioned for the Deloitte 2018 Millennial Survey. Of the young people surveyed in Australia, Deloitte found that just 39 per cent believed they would be wealthier than their parents.
That may be because Australian Millennials told the surveyors that a ‘positive work environment’ was more important than salary when it came to considering a new employer. (Interestingly, Australian youngsters were different to their counterparts in other countries on this, with the global survey results putting financial rewards at a higher importance than a positive workplace.)
Loyalty to an employer, meanwhile, wasn’t high on the list of the Millennials surveyed around the globe.
Half of the survey participants anticipated leaving their jobs within just two years to move onto another workplace, and less than a third planned to stick with their employer for more than five years. And in a view that possibly didn’t bode well for their earning potential, well over half (62 per cent) said they regarded the gig economy – i.e. working as a freelancer in one or more occupations – as a viable alternative to or supplement to full-time employment.
To be fair, the lack of loyalty to an employer is likely to be a reaction to growing up at a time when workers have become increasingly disposable and companies are far more obviously focused on profit than employee satisfaction or retention. As Deloitte said of the global survey findings, “their experience is of employers prioritizing the bottom line above workers, society and the environment, leaving them with little sense of loyalty”.
And Deloitte says that the fact the Millennials (other than in Australia) put a strong focus on their own bottom line with salary being the most important consideration when selecting an employer, while deriding companies for doing the same, wasn’t as hypocritical as it appeared.
“[It’s] actually is consistent with the idea that employers should ‘share the wealth’, provide good jobs and enhance workers’ lives,” the report says.
More aligned with earlier generations, however, is the global Millennial view on current political leadership, with 71 per cent saying that political leaders had a negative impact on the world, compared to just 19 per cent that believed they had a positive impact. Religious leaders fared little better, with a 52 per cent negative rating, compared to a 33 per cent positive ones. Business leaders had Millennials almost split, with 42 per cent negative to 44 per cent positive.
Terrorism and climate change were the biggest issues of concern for Millennials, nominated by 31 per cent and 30 per cent of the survey respondents respectively as issues that worried them, followed by income equality (24 per cent), unemployment (23 per cent) and war (22 per cent).
Given all of that, it’s possibly no surprise that just 35 per cent of young Australians believe they will be happier than their parents (compared to 43 per cent of Millennials globally).