Move over, Millennials; they’re no longer the most powerful age group. They have been overtaken by Generation Z, those born between 1996 and 2012, who make up about 20% of the U.S. population.

So what do we know about this generation, and how they’re making their presence known in the workforce? Here are our top-5 stats on Gen Z in the workplace:

  • 48% of Gen-Z in the U.S. is Non-white, and 60% don’t believe in traditional gender differences.
  • Gen Z is set to make up 27% of the workforce in the U.S. by 2025.
  • Half of Gen Z workers are working independently or freelance.
  • Fair compensation and work-life balance are priorities for Gen Z.
  • This generation values transparency, diversity and inclusivity highly, and is prepared to leave a job where the company values don’t align with their own.

Want to know more about your newest colleagues? Read on for the 17 Gen Z in the workplace statistics you need to know.

Table of Contents

Demographics of Gen Z Workers

Generation Z is the most diversified and well-educated one in the U.S. ever to come along, and they’re about to make waves in the workplace. Gen Z was birthed into a digitally-connected planet and has spent half of the time they’ve been awake online. They have been molded and groomed by social media and the internet culture.

Gen Z is racially diverse, with 48% being Non-white.

According to research by the Pew Research Center, Gen Z is the most racially diverse generation in the U.S. 48% of this generation are Non-white, compared to 39% of millennials and 30% of Gen X.

One third of Gen Z grew up in single-parent homes.

Gen Z’s housing arrangements resemble those of the previous generation. 65% of 6- to 17-year-olds today live with their married parents. About a third live in single-parent homes.

59% of Gen Z are pursuing college education

 A survey of 18-20 year olds who are no longer in high school showed that nearly 3 out of 5 are in further education. That’s more than in the millennial generation (53%) or Gen X (44%) back in 2002 and 1986 respectively.

Many have a less traditional view of gender.

Gen Z is probably the most open-minded generation in terms of gender differences. Almost 60% would like to see options on questionnaires other than the traditional “male” or “female”. About half of the members of this generation believe that society needs to be more accommodating and accepting of people who identify as other genders.

Gen Z in the Workforce & Employment Statistics

As they begin their careers, we’re likely to see enormous changes in the way Gen Z approach their work and life. 

Zoomers will form a third of the global workforce in 10 years.

While many of this generation are still at school in 2022, their impact on the workforce is only just beginning. According to the 2020 data, Gen Z formed 11.6% of the U.S. workforce. By 2025, this will increase to 27%, and the number of Gen Z employees is set to triple in the next ten years.

Gen Z is described as “The Most Entrepreneurial Generation Ever’’.

In a 2020 survey, 50% of Gen Z reported that they are doing freelance work, compared to 44% of millennials. Gen Z forms 17% of the independent workforce and 27% of independent content creators.

66% of Gen Z workers have had to put in extra hours since the pandemic.

That’s compared to 59% of Millennials, 48% of Generation X, and 31% of Baby Boomers. This may be because employers are more likely to place demands on younger staff, those on lower salaries, or those without family commitments.

58% of Gen Z workers experienced burnout in 2021.

That’s higher than other generations, apart from millennials, who had a similar reporting rate (59%). Burnout rates in Gen Z are increasing faster than any other generation (up from 47% in 2020) and were the worst affected by the pandemic in this respect.

46% of Gen Zs feel financial stress most of the time.

The lack of job security during the pandemic, alongside rising prices and inflation, has caused workers to feel worried and stressed about their finances, with the highest rates reported in Gen Z.

What Does Gen Z Want at Work?

Gen Z has seen the emergence of gender issues on an unprecedented scale, social justice movements, and huge concern about the state of the planet. Many of them have a distinct awareness of equality and ethics in the workplace. Data shows that Gen Z members are willing to give up their jobs if there’s a conflict of interests. They also want a good work/life balance with good compensation packages. 

78% of Gen Z prefers working in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry. 

Technology came second with 76.5% and the hospitality and tourism industry came third with a 60.1% ranking. In the same survey of 29,000 Gen Z students, Google was the highest ranked company with 65.5%, Apple was second with 65.4% and Netflix was third with 64%.

81% of Gen Z believes pay transparency is the solution to pay gaps.

Gen Z is more likely to share their salary information with other people, compared to previous generations, for whom talking about money has been taboo. 61% of Gen Z employees also believe they are paid fairly for their work.

77% prioritize compensation and benefits when choosing a job.

The second-highest priority was work-life balance, and company culture came in third. This represents a shift since the class of 2019, who prioritized professional development opportunities and location, with only 42% citing compensation as a significant factor. 

32% of Gen Z look for better work-life balance when changing jobs.

Gen Z who are already in the workforce prioritize a good work/life balance (32%), followed by learning and development opportunities (29%), a high salary or financial benefits (24%) and a positive workplace culture (23%) when choosing a new employer. 80% of Gen Z also indicated that they want to work with an employer whose beliefs align with theirs.

Gen Z women are more likely than men to want healthcare benefits (84% vs 68%). 

Women are also more likely than men to look for education opportunities (52% vs 40%) and parental leave (20% vs 11%). Men, on the other hand, are more likely than women to prioritize equity options (50% vs 26%) when considering a new employer.

72% of Gen Z prefers flexible work policies. 

In a January 2022 survey, 72% of Gen Z reported leaving or considering leaving work because of inflexible work policy. Flexibility relates to more than just where they work, also including when and how they work.

Two-thirds of Gen Z believe inclusivity starts with diversity in the workplace.

69% would support companies that have diversity in leadership positions within the organization, as a solid commitment to inclusivity. This is more powerful than companies donating to initiatives for marginalized groups (46% in support), or making statements promoting equality (38% in support).

Gen Z is 32% more likely to leave their employment compared to other generations.

In a survey done with 32,000 Gen Z employees in the U.S., Gen Z showed that they are 32% more likely to leave their employment compared to the Millennials. When compared to Gen X, they are twice as likely, and when compared to the Boomers, they’re 2.8 times more likely to leave their employment.

Gen Z in the Workplace FAQs

Gen Z wants to work with modern technology – which is understandable, since they’ve grown up with it. However, they prefer face-to-face communication in the workplace and during the hiring process, which means they appreciate in-person interviews rather than online interviews. The generation also prefers stability in the workplace that comes with a predictable job and fair compensation.
Gen Z are competitive, and love a little challenge in the workplace. They can work individually or in a team, and are more likely to think of new ways of doing things rather than follow the status quo.
Gen Z values support and trust from their manager. They want their voice to be heard and respected at work. Even though they are a hard-working generation, they want a healthy work/life balance and value mental health. They tend to avoid stressful work environments. Other things that they value are authenticity, transparency, and honest communication in the workplace.
Gen Z is 30% of the world’s population and by 2025, 27% of the workforce is expected to be Gen Z. Data from 2020 show that the Gen Z unemployment rate is 2 times higher compared to other generations in every OECD country.

Final Thoughts

Generation Z has not known a world before smartphones, so it comes as no surprise that many are looking for remote work opportunities and adjustable office hours. Few of them have ever worked in a “real office” and most of their conversations with co-workers and friends have been conducted online. 

All this means that Gen Z will seek employment with companies that have a less traditional work culture, and that are committed to social issues that are aligned with this generation’s values.

Eric Moore

Eric Moore is the owner of Overheard on Conference Calls. As a corporate veteran, he's seen and heard it all. And when it comes to office chairs, desks, and accessories, he's used it all. As a former office furniture sales rep, he bring his expertise to provide readers the knowledge to choose the right products for them.