The youngest segment of the workforce, aged 18 to 24 (also known as Gen Z), has been the most professionally affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is reflected in “People at Work 2021: A Global Workforce View”, the latest study prepared by the ADP Research Institute.
The survey, carried out among more than 32,000 workers from 17 countries – including Spain – indicates that the working life of 78% of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 has been affected, compared to 64% of the rest of workers in Spain. other ages.
Almost two in five (39%) say they lost their job or suffered a temporary layoff, while 28% of workers of the rest of the ages have been through the same situation. In fact, Gen Z was twice as likely to experience such layoffs as their older peers (55+).
Additionally, Gen Z’s optimism for the next five years in the workplace has declined dramatically since the start of the pandemic; currently 83% are optimistic compared to 93% a year ago, which is the largest reduction among all age segments.
According to Georgina Soca, ADP’s human resources manager for Southern Europe, “Generation Z has faced many professional challenges since the start of their careers. For many, the economic effects of COVID-19 have been a baptism. However, it is encouraging to see that, despite everything, they show great resilience and determination as they adapt to circumstances and seek opportunities to resist and lay a solid foundation for their future. “
For example, Gen Z must have been more professionally agile than any other age group in dealing with COVID-19. 36% changed jobs or had to take on a new one because their companies were forced to adapt their working style or required skills and, in some cases, to restructure their operations. In the rest of the ages, 28% had to change roles.
In addition, one in five actively tries to prepare their work for the future by changing the function or sector in which they work, while only one in seven workers (15%) from the rest of the segments follow this strategy. Young workers also redouble their efforts to establish and develop contacts within their company – 30%; In contrast, 40% of Millennials (25 to 34) are leading this initiative.
Soca adds, “Employees often define job security based on their network of contacts and how it can help them find jobs that can broaden their work experience. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing Gen Z do: look for new ones. This fact matters because the sad reality is that starting a job during a recession can lead to large losses in initial income and usually leads to significant changes in local labor market structures, which can take years to recover. It is essential that the youngest are as proactive as possible. “
The study also notes that the professional effects of the pandemic had a significant impact on the personal lives of young people on their lifestyle. Gen Z and Gen Y are more likely to have changed or are considering changing their lifestyle: 85% and 82% say so, respectively. “This could have long-term implications for the jobs people do and how and where they do it,” Georgina Soca concludes.