- Millennials (those born after 1984) and even younger generations make up more than half of Americans.
- Millennials will soon be the largest voting bloc in America.
- Generation Z (those born between 1996 and 2010) will be the largest consumer group in America by 2026.
Yet, in the hallways of executive offices and in business circles, there is much maligning of the youth. The common complaint is that "they just don't want to work."
Let’s look at it from the youth’s perspective. The youth did not start any of the wars currently being fought. The youth does not (yet) control the levers of political power and therefore did not create policies that left land and seas polluted. The youth also did not raise the relative cost of an education, crash the stock market repeatedly, or create business environments in which working fulltime no longer pays a livable wage. If this is the prism through which you are viewing the world, then no wonder some of the youth no longer see the point in working that hard. What do they have to look forward to except huge educational debt, unaffordable housing, low wages, and a polluted world?
Study after study shows that the majority of millennials and younger Americans care deeply about the environment and climate change. The first youth-led trial in U.S. history tackling the effect of climate change on younger generations will take place next year.
Anyone who runs a business and is complaining about the youth should perhaps instead listen to what they are telling us: they will soon become the largest segment of our candidate pool and our consumer base. And if they feel that they are not being heard, they will not want to work for us or buy what we are selling.