(Bloomberg) — Some millennials may never get to experience the joys of playing bocce and telling kids to get off their lawn, as 12 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 34 expect to work until they die.
A study, released on Tuesday by workforce solutions company Manpower Group and conducted by surveyor Reputation Leaders, found that 12 percent of millennials around the world expect never to retire. In Japan, a whopping 37 percent said they think they’ll work until they reach the grave, compared to 18 percent in China, 12 percent in the United States and the United Kingdom, and just 3 percent in Spain. The study polled 19,000 working millennials across 25 countries. Earlier this year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics determined that 18.9 percent of Americans over the age of 65 were still working, the highest rate since Medicare was introduced.
A variety of issues in Japan is pushing millennials to consider working themselves to death. ”In Japan, significant changes have taken place that create a lot of uncertainty for millennials,” said Mireya Solís, Philip Knight chair in Japan studies at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank.
Solís pointed to the decreasing national savings rate, employment prospects and the country’s aging population, which puts a burden on the social security system, as factors that push people to work longer in Japan. The study found that while 32 percent of men and 66 percent of women globally plan to take time off for the birth of their children, a lawmaker in Japan came under fire earlier this year for attempting to enable this.
When it comes to working hours, Japan’s millennials clock in at 46 hours a week, the study found, less than India’s 52 and the average 48 worked in Mexico, China, and Singapore. Young U.S. workers log 45 hours a week.
The survey found that only 3 percent of American millennials work “gig economy” jobs such as driving for ride-sharing app Uber Technologies Inc. or freelancing for TaskRabbit, which allows users to outsource errands. The majority work full-time jobs, but 35 percent said they were open to taking a part-time job in the future, and 41 percent said they would consider being self-employed. As for what American millennials want in a job, they prioritize salary, job security, and benefits above all else — no surprise considering that undergraduates finishing college in 2014 owed an average of $28,950 in student debt.