Commentary

Boomers Out; Millennials In

According to the “Great Generational Shift” by RainmakerThinking, reported by Bruce Tulgan, “as the Baby Boomers’ slow but steady exodus from the workforce continues, the Second Wave Millennials continue entering the workforce in droves. This radical shift in numbers is accompanied by a profound transformation in the norms, values, attitudes, expectations and behaviors of the emerging post-Boomer workforce.

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This is the generational shift that demographers and workforce planners have been anticipating for decades, says the report.

There are six different generations still working side by side in 2017, says the report. In just the last year alone, millions of First Wave Boomers and pre-Boomers have left the North American workforce, while millions of Second Wave Millennials have joined.”

Six Generations Working Together

Generation (% of Total)

2017

2016

Pre BB (<1946

1%

1%

BB First wave  (1946-1950)

11

13

BB Second wave (1955-1964)

16

17

GenerationX (1965-1977)

27

27

Millennials First Wave (1978-1989)

27

28

Millennials Second Wave (1990-2000)

17

14

Post Millennial

>1%

0

Source: RainmakerThinking, February 2017

“Because both the Baby Boomers and the Millennials are such large generations, says the report, the model splits them both into “First Wave” and “Second Wave” cohorts.

The long dominant Boomers are on the wane, while the Second Wave Millennials are on the rise, says the report. The oldest of the First Wave Boomers are now in their 70s and every day, in North America alone, another 10,000 First Wave Boomers turn 70. By 2020, First Wave Boomers will be well under 6% of the workforce and those who do remain in the workforce will continue trending heavily toward “reinventing” retirement and late-career pre-retirement.

At the same time and for the foreseeable future, the Second Wave Millennials (and soon post-Millennials) will be the fastest growing segment of the workforce. By 2020, those born 1990 and later will be greater than 28% of the workforce altogether (including post-Millennials),” says the report.

1st And 2nd Millennial Waves Fastest Growing Workforce

Generation (% of Total)

2017

2016

2020

Pre BB (<1946)

1%

1%

0%

BB First wave  (1946-1950)

11

13

<6

BB Second wave (1955-1964)

16

17

13

GenerationX (1965-1977)

27

27

26

Millennials First Wave (1978-1989)

27

28

27

Millennials Second Wave (1990-2000)

17

14

24

Post Millennial

>1%

0

>4

Source: RainmakerThinking, February 2017

“Today’s generation gap is about much more than a clash of styles and preferences; much more than the creative energy of youth challenging the cautious wisdom of experience; more than the new butting up against the old,” concludes Tulgan. “The “Generational Shift” unfolding today is of historic significance, defined by the confluence of macro forces driving change at an extraordinary magnitude and pace.

Everything is changing so much and so fast that the youngest, least experienced people bring to the table a unique wisdom that comes from being in sync – much more so than older, more experienced people – with the immediate and intermediate future.”

For additional information from RainmakerThinking, please visit here.

 

 

 

 

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