Updated Feb 25, 2022 - Economy

The Great Resignation generation: Gen Z wants to job hop

Illustration of an exit sign with a person's silhouette forming the "I". 

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

America's youngest generation entered the job market amid the Great Resignation — and that has changed the way they view working.

Why it matters: This cohort will make up a third of U.S. labor by 2030, shaping the future of work.

What's happening: In the spirit of the Great Resignation, Gen Z is far likelier than older generations to job-hop, Karin Kimbrough, chief economist at LinkedIn, told me Thursday during an Axios event.

  • Gen Z is changing jobs at a rate 134% higher than they were in 2019. Millennials are switching 24% more, and boomers 4% less, per LinkedIn data.
  • And they plan to keep job-hopping: Some 25% of Gen Zers say they hope or plan to leave their employers within the next six months, LinkedIn found. Compare that with 23% of millennials, 18% of Gen X and just 12% of boomers.

"That's a little bit normal because they're younger, and their tenure is shorter," says Kimbrough.

  • But Gen Z's willingness to hop jobs is remarkable beyond that, she notes. A whopping 75% of Gen Zers say they're willing to switch career paths entirely and look for jobs in new industries. Less than half of those older say the same.

The big picture: Gen Z joined the workforce in the middle of pandemic-induced telework, which has also shaped their view of the working world.

  • They're 77% more likely to engage with a job posting on LinkedIn that mentions "flexibility" than one that doesn't. Millennials are 30% more likely to click on the posting with "flexibility."

What to watch: For teleworking Gen Zers, many of whom accepted job offers and on-boarded at new companies without meeting any colleagues, workplace culture and company purpose have become increasingly important.

  • "I think the good news about this new workforce is that a lot of them really resonate as consumers with brands that have a purpose that aligns with their values," Marissa Andrada, Chipotle's chief people officer, told me at the Axios event.
  • "The employers need to think about how they create ... mentorship and connection that will really keep Gen Zs in place," Kimbrough says. "Because they are likely to move around."
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