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Millennials Loyal to Employers Could Suffer Lower Pay Growth

Topics: Data & Research
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Switching jobs could be a good thing — at least for millennials, a recent report shows.

New research conducted by U.K. think tank Resolution Foundation debunked the myth that young workers are disloyal job swappers. The research also showed millennial loyalty often caused them to miss out on pay raises associated with a new job. Annual real pay raises for long-term employees have dropped from about 4 percent to zilch. Workers in the generation born 10 years earlier were more than twice as likely to move jobs.

Upheaval Tempers Ambitions

The 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey also shows that younger workers are seeking greater job security. While Deloitte’s 2016 survey revealed that millennials were planning near-term exits from their employers, the 2017 survey results revealed that those ambitions were tempered by 12 months of social and political upheaval. Young professionals reported that they are less likely to leave the security of their jobs, more concerned about uncertainty arising from conflict and not optimistic about their future prospects.

Witnessing The Great Recession’s devastating layoffs is largely to blame, Jennifer Deal, a senior research scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership, wrote in The Wall Street Journal, based on hundreds of interviews she and colleagues conducted. Leaders who recognize how important job security is to millennials can make job security a key differentiator for their organization, and in doing so, attract a good, stable workforce, she wrote.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

But what’s a millennial to do?

Working Harder Not Enough to Boost Millennial Pay, Some Say

It won’t be enough for millennials to work harder, according to a report published by the Center for American Progress. Today’s 30-year-olds make about as much as a 30-year-old would have in 1984 — about $19.30 an hour — and about a dollar less than a 30-year-old in 2004 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). Because earnings early in a worker’s career can greatly influence the arc of earnings later on, these meager earnings are setting up young workers for futures with bleak pay prospects. The research, as reported in The Atlantic, calls for government intervention, such as laws to make union formation easier, or for employers to create more robust leave policies.

What Millennials Can Do

But the millennial worker wanting better long-term pay prospects or job security doesn’t have to start lobbying their legislators quite yet. For starters, educate yourself on what you’re worth. NerdWallet columnist Brianna McGurran recommends asking the career services director at your school, alumni in your field and industry connections what the going rate is for recent graduates, and checking online resources like PayScale. To see what you’re worth, take the PayScale Salary Survey.

With that knowledge, you’re better prepared to negotiate your salary — a must, McGurran said.

“Whether you’re a man or a woman, a new grad or a career changer, you should negotiate when your employer offers you less money than you know you should be paid,” she said.

Get what you’re worth by checking out PayScale’s Salary Negotiation Guide.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you a millennial seeking greater job security in today’s economy? We want to hear about your experience. Share with our community on Twitter, or leave your comment below.

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SusySMLAether Recent comment authors
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Then, it’s a good thing millennials aren’t very loyal…


While you can increase your pay when switching jobs you must weigh other factors as well. For one thing, for as long as you continue this process, you will be stuck with short vacation where as if you are loyal you may receive additional vacation time the longer you stay. There are many factors to consider during your career and you must weigh all of them when deciding whether to stay or move on.


…isn’t that true for almost everyone?
Also, the type of person that’s loyal to a company is usually a sucker.
“Can I have a raise, Mrs. Defoe?”

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