What You Need to Know
- A new Prudential Financial survey says that younger generations are more drawn to more flexible ways of working.
- Many Americans report their main source of income is not enough to pay the bills or save for the future, Prudential says.
- The online survey also found that women are more likely to be concerned about their financial security than men are.
Younger generations of American workers are taking drastic measures to bring balance to their lives, according to Prudential Financial’s latest Pulse research survey.
The survey found that while millennials and Generation Z are attracted to more flexible ways of working, they are far likelier than Gen Xers or baby boomers to turn to gig work, go into debt or receive financial support from relatives to meet their financial goals.
Morning Consult conducted the online survey from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 among a national sample of 4,796 self-identified adults, including 477 Gen Zers, 1,458 millennials, 1,223 Gen Xers and 1,430 baby boomers. It also included 2,356 employed adults.
Demand for Job Flexibility
One-third of millennial respondents and 46% of Gen Zers reported that they have switched employers since the start of the pandemic, compared with just 29% of all workers. Younger generations are more likely than workers as a whole to say the best way to increase their earning potential is to change employers every few years.
According to the survey, younger generations look to employers for help, with 58% of Gen Zers and 57% of millennials believing that their employer has a responsibility to help them feel more financially empowered.
That said, over the past year, 29% of millennials who switched jobs said they took a pay cut, explaining that they did so to achieve a better work-life balance.
Younger workers will continue to demand flexibility in when and where to work — “hybrid is here to stay,” Prudential vice chair Robert Falzon said in a statement.
Prudential advised employers to be aware that many Americans report their main source of income is not enough to pay the bills or save for the future. Turning to gig work, going into debt, or receiving financial support from relatives to close the gap has become the norm.
Forty-nine percent of millennials and 48% of Gen Zers in the survey said they do not believe that a salary is going to be enough to achieve their financial goals.
Seven in 10 of all workers reported that they have pursued or considered pursuing gig work to supplement their income over the past year, including 81% of Gen Zers and 77% of millennials — roughly a quarter of whom hope that their gig work will one day be their full-time job.
Most workers in the survey who are considering or are pursuing gig work said they are doing so only until their main source of income can fully sustain their financial needs.