ENJOY: Millennials Working the System

By 2020, Millennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans. It is estimated that by 2025 they will make up as much as 75 percent of the workforce.  Millennials’ desire for pragmatic action that drives results will overtake today’s emphasis on ideology and polarization as Boomers finally fade from the scene. Thus, understanding the generation’s values offers a window into the future of corporate America.

By Morley Winograd and Michael Hais - Brookings Institute

Morley Winograd and Michael Hais outline the cultural force of the Millennial generation on the economy as Millennials increasingly dominate the nation’s workplaces and permeate its corporate culture. Winograd and Hais argue that the current culture on Wall Street is becoming increasingly isolated from the beliefs and values of America’s largest adult generation. The authors also include data on Millennials’ ideal employers, their financial behaviors, and their levels of institutional trust in order to provide further insight into this important demographic.

Key Millennial values shaping the future of the American economy include:

  • Interest in daily work being a reflection of and part of larger societal concerns.
  • Emphasis on corporate social responsibility, ethical causes, and stronger brand loyalty for companies offering solutions to specific social problems.
  • A greater reverence for the environment, even in the absence of major environmental disaster.
  • Higher worth placed on experiences over acquisition of material things.
  • Ability to build communities around shared interests rather than geographical proximity, bridging otherwise disparate groups.

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