If 70% of Millennials and Gen Z Quit in 2023, What Will the Economic Impact Be?

Young Businesswoman Lost her Job.
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The Big Quit continues on in 2023 as people leave their jobs in record numbers. In the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4.2 million employees left their jobs in November 2022, marking the 18th consecutive month of record-high resignations.

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Among the quitting population are a large number of young people, leading analysts to wonder what their high rates of turnover could do to the overall economy.

According to CNBC, citing a survey from LinkedIn and CensusWide, 72% of Gen Z workers and 66% of millennial employees noted they are looking to switch jobs in 2023. The survey polled 2,000 American workers and found similar, though smaller, percentages of would-be job-switchers among Gen X-ers (55%) and baby boomers (30%).

The results track with a trend known as “job hopping” that Gen Z and millennials workers have largely backed. According to Forbes, workers between the ages of 25 to 34 tend to stay in their role for 2.8 years on average, compared to 9.8 years on average for those aged 55 to 64.

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Millennials, Gen Z Want More From Employers

As Forbes detailed, younger workers expect more from their employers — such as meaningful work, remote opportunities and work-life balance. Many younger workers claim they’re bored or see no room for advancement, and there’s less often (in today’s work paradigm) the lure of retirement savings structures that entice workers to stay in a job for an extended period of time.

“Today’s workplace is more complicated. It is not as simple as providing a living wage, benefits and a retirement package,” Forbes contributor Ashley Stahl outlined. “Newer workers want flexibility, opportunities for advancement, education, and more… The new workforce are digital natives — they are savvy in a new way that older generations are not. Most importantly, they’re not afraid to make a change.”

Moreover, the U.S. job market is in workers’ favor right now. There is an explosion of job openings, with 10.5 million waiting to be filled, according to BLS data.

But as long as the job market sways in workers’ favor — and there are jobs they can claim (without being unemployed) — these quits may not have as great an impact on the economy as one might think. One of the factors behind a full-blown recession is a high rate of unemployment, but as of December the U.S. stood steady at a modest 3.5% rate, per BLS statistics. “Layoffs remain low and have increased only modestly as employers try to hang onto the workers they have,” noted CNBC.

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However, many experts caution that the economy remains volatile, especially as Congress is in a contentious fight over having reached the debt ceiling limit this month. If the debt ceiling issue isn’t resolved — and results in a default — this could have catastrophic results, leading to a possible 7% unemployment rate, per The Hill. As Fortune reported in May of 2022, during a period of similar economic turmoil: “It could be time to stop job hopping and buckle up at a company where you can survive a major downturn.”

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About the Author

Selena Fragassi joined GOBankingRates.com in 2022, adding to her 15 years in journalism with bylines in Spin, Paste, Nylon, Popmatters, The A.V. Club, Loudwire, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and others. She currently resides in Chicago with her rescue pets and is working on a debut historical fiction novel about WWII. She holds a degree in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago.
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