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article imageMillennials’ future impact on the economy

By Alyssa Sellors     Feb 12, 2015 in Business
Individuals from ages 18 to 33 are considered to be millennials. Raised in the tech world, these individuals hold a deeper understanding of technology and its capabilities, and that’s something the current workforce can, and should, embrace.
There are over 80 million millennials in the U.S., larger than any other generation. By the end of this year, one in every three employees in the U.S. will be a millennial, and by 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will be made up of millennials. This is all to say that millennials are going to make a massive impact on our global economy, in a very good way. So, how is this large cross-section of our population positively impacting our economy?
They embrace technology by using it to their advantage wherever they can. This means considering alternate forms of payment, using free means of marketing, and simplifying operations, saving time and money. And even though many criticize this generation for being lazy, in fact the opposite is true. They actually find ways to do more by doing less; which is more positively referred to as being efficient.
In truth, according to a report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, millennials are “retraining the brain to reduce the performance deterioration of multitasking by increasing the speed of information the brain processes. This rewiring allows multiple tasks to be processed in more rapid succession. This activity and research suggest that our brains are evolving.”
They are creating jobs. Noted as one of the top careers in the next decade, entrepreneurship is one of the more popular career choices of millennials, which makes sense since these individuals tend to be more optimistic risk takers than their older counterparts. Think Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, or the millennials who started Twitter and Instagram. Research currently shows that over 27 percent of millennials are self-employed. Startups are essential to creating jobs and growing the economy, and millennials are the ideal candidates with millennials starting almost 160,000 startups each month in 2011.
And while starting your own business is incredibly challenging, this group of forward thinking individuals have been quite successful, with nearly 62 percent of millennial-owned small businesses reporting increased sales over the past six months (versus 41 percent of the total small businesses), and 45 percent of millennial-owned small businesses planning to hire in the next six months (versus 30 percent of the total small businesses), according to data cited in a recent article in Entrepreneur. Even if a millennial does not start their own business, their knowledge and different way of looking at the world makes them a valuable employee that will help older business owners to better adapt to the changing economical climate.
They care. This generation is probably one of the most diverse and tolerant populations to date with 11 percent of millennials born to at least one immigrant parent, also cited in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce report on millennials. This leads to a population that is also more politically involved and invested in making changes, which means more nonprofit startups and products with a cause behind them. In this way, millennials are not only changing the mindset of consumers, but also the marketplace through activism in purchasing power where people have the desire to vote with their dollars. Millennials also care about where products are made, if workers are treated humanely, and how their products are made with a more conscious awareness of additives, dyes, etc. in food, clothing and other products.
They are better educated. The millennial generation is enjoying the highest high school graduation rates in over two decades at 72 percent, and of those, 68 percent are enrolled in college. This leads to a workforce that is motivated and educated with a degree under their belts and a goal. Having a more educated workforce typically means that employees with stay with a career for a longer period of time; great for employers. This generation of individuals was also hit by the recession of 2008 so many know what it’s like to be out of work or struggling to find work.
In all, the millennials are forcing the current workforce and those older than them to rethink the traditional business model, or even question the need for one altogether. This population is creative, optimistic, and hardworking; better yet, they are also inventive and better at taking risks than previous generations. And with technology growing more each day, this generation will literally have the world at their fingertips.
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