Generation Zs are ready to recover. As whispers of an economic recovery sit hopeful on the lips of Boomers, Xs, and Millennials, it’s worth taking a look at the demographics. When it comes to the “green shoots” of a recovery, Gen Z’s got the thumbs.
Here are the facts:
• Businesses want/need them. The cohort born between 1996 and 2010 represents 40% of the U.S. population. They are the largest generation on the planet, representing 2.47 billion of the Earth’s 7.7 billion people. They’re also the most diverse. With spending power of $143 billion a year, Gen Z’s consumer preferences will shape all of our futures. Expect that Z’s will want a hand in the shaping.
• Governments overlook them. Early economic response to the pandemic was focused almost entirely on older generations. And though Gen Z has lost the greatest number of work hours — by some estimates, a third of Gen Z has been laid off — many in the U.S. don’t qualify for a stimulus cheque because they’re still claimed as dependents by their parents.
• They’re already building what’s next. Z’s are projected to be the most educated generation we’ve seen. They anticipate multiple jobs in their lifetimes, and more than 40% of them plan to start their own businesses. They expect to work harder than previous generations. And, as gamers and digital natives, they’ve always been at ease with “physically apart, digitally together“. Expect innovations on the future of work to come from Z. They’ll have an easier time imagining the future, largely because they’ve been living in it.
A Gen Z recovery is a demographic fact — so let’s get those Z’s what they need.
There’s a lot of unease in the world right now — and for today’s young people, that’s nothing new. From Trump trolls to #BLM activism to entrepreneurial innovation, Gen Zs are picking their lanes. Now it’s up to the rest of us to support or get out of the way.