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Report: Gen Z to Replace Boomers in the Workforce Next Year

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Dec 5, 2023

Gen Z will make up a larger portion of the U.S. workforce than Baby Boomers for the first time next year, a recent Glassdoor trend forecast reported, and that will have “pretty sweeping implications for what employers prioritize,” Glassdoor chief economist Aaron Terrazas told CNBC Make It.

“This is the tail end of the Boomers, this transformative generation for work in the workplace,” Terrzas said. “They are being replaced by very different people who prioritize different expectations around work.”

Eventually, Gen Z will overtake Gen X too — but it’ll be “a long time before they overtake millennials,” said Terrazas, because millennials outnumber all other generations in the United States so far. “It probably won’t be until the early 2040s.”

The demographic shift will cause profound changes in the workplace, as Gen Zers bring different perspectives and attitudes with them.

For one, they have a stated preference for employers with demonstrated social impact, upward mobility and creative opportunities, according to a national survey conducted in 2022. Gen Z “value flat organizations and they want their opinion and perspective heard, irrespective of their experience or tenure,” Terrazas added. They also expect to have political opinions at work and expect that their companies will be interested in the issues that they care about.

They also care more about work-life balance, as many have posted on social media. They value flexible jobs that can help to enable that balance. Job security is not as valuable to them as it may have been to previous generations; almost three quarters are willing to quit their jobs if their managers don’t provide development opportunities and regular feedback, a recent survey found, and they are willing to job hop if the situation does not suit them.

“That’s going to prompt a lot of soul searching at the executive level about the ways to retain and motivate their employee base, particularly these youngest employees,” said Terrazas.