The Millennial generation now represents the largest segment of the United States workforce. This is according to the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan fact tank that researches and provides information on social issues and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world. Their analysis was based on monthly data of current population surveys from the U.S. government and focused on those who are working or looking for work.
Numbering approximately 53.5 million workers, or about one in three workers, the Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1997. Millennials took the lead in the first quarter of 2015, a little sooner than had been predicted. Previously, it was Generation X, commonly referred to as Gen Xers, who led in numbers. This group, born between 1965 and 1990, eclipsed the Baby Boomer generation in 2012.
What are the implications? The Millennials will continue to grow, given immigration and post-recession economic growth as well as aging in their ranks. They are also the largest generation in the U.S. population, not just in the workforce. The oldest Gen Xers are 50, and more Baby Boomers will retire from their jobs and take their skills with them.
While generations shouldn’t be stereotyped, they do have different styles and needs. The concern for attracting and hiring skilled workers will remain high as will the need to offer total reward programs that engage and retain them.