Employment Futures of Generation Z After a Pandemic


Picture Courtesy of the Vantage Circle Blog

Since the first peak of the pandemic in 2020, many Americans have participated in a nationwide quitting spree. According to a survey conducted by Bankrate in August 2021, 77% of Gen. Z adults were likely to switch employment in the next 12 months, compared to 55% of all Americans. However, as the rate of COVID cases remains unpredictable, promises of a new career for young adults seem just as unstable. 

“Everyone is re-thinking what they want from their jobs and a sense of urgency to take control of their careers,” says Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick to CNBC Make it. 

According to the OECD, as of January 2022, the unemployment rate among Generation Z in several countries was nearly twice as much as the unemployment rate among older generations. Moreover, when the pandemic struck, service industries closed down, forcing several workers, many of whom were Generation Z, to leave their jobs for a prolonged period. 

For Generation Z (those born from 1995-to 2010), the likelihood of quitting a job is far greater than any other generation. Labeled as the ‘Zoomers,’ members of Generation Z were not only the majority to participate in what is dubbed ‘The Great Resignation,’ but they are quitting their jobs for several other reasons. 

In an article published by Forbes, “Gen. Z’s expectations in the workplace are values-driven and aligned with their personal morals.” Generational effects lend to more progressive beliefs among younger generations, notably Gen. Z. The values that many Zoomers identify with reflect their diverse demographic and their accepting attitudes towards diversity. 

Today, younger employees are more concerned with workplace treatment. “If you don’t feel respected at your job,” states workplace expert Lauren Stiller Rikleen of CNBC Make it, “you’re going to explore other options.” 

The previously mentioned article provides a telling example of how Zoomers navigate through the job field: after a tech company placed out offers for new positions, several members of Gen.Z responded against the proposal, as they were concerned with the unethical practices involved in the tech industry. These practices range from workplace treatment to the operation of the organization itself. 

Additionally, as businesses have reopened up, Gen. Zers may continue exhibiting hesitance towards jobs. Apprehension can be due to the instability of employment in a pandemic and their own ethical and moral standards for an enterprise. The pandemic has taken these “simmering” workplace issues to a “boiling point,” illustrates Stiller Rikleen. 

Although many predict that cases drop, the pandemic reached a new peak of cases just a month ago. In a live video, Dr. Curtis Storlie, a data scientist at the Mayo Clinic, expects a decline but reminds audiences, “‘People are still going to get infected on the way down—just as many on the way down as on the way up.’” 

The shifting attitudes among Generation Z won’t necessarily destroy their job prospects in the long run. According to an analysis performed by Concordia University Saint-Paul, Generation Z will disrupt the workforce with an influx of over 61 million job seekers in the U.S. 

Especially for current non-adult Gen. Z members, the pandemic will likely subside entirely by the time they reach their 20s. Furthermore, as baby boomers retire, the demand for the technology-savvy generation will soar in the far future. But, ultimately, Generation Z will still have a significant impact on the workplace, both through their distinguished moral values and their aptitude for technology.