Millennials officially surpassed an important milestone this past month: the latte-sipping, social media-loving and debt-inducing generation is now the biggest generation in the United States workforce. We also learned that they are becoming managers and they don’t want to be owners of… anything.
See Also: Millennials Don’t Want to be Millennials
1. Millennials Taking 'No Ownership' to New Heights
For years, we have known that millennials don’t want to own anything. Whether it’s cars or homes, millennials have been shunning the idea that, in order to be prosperous, they should own stuff. Well, not only are millennials foregoing home or vehicle ownership, they are taking it to new levels.
The sharing or renting economy is stretching to clothing, electronics and small appliances. According to a detailed report profiling this sector, a new industry of sharing even the most minuscule items is booming, and this is posing a significant threat to conventional retailers.
Why are millennials rejecting ownership? Due to the economic collapse and rising student debt levels, millennials are focusing less on owning and more on bartering, sharing and trading, from shirts to toasters. What’s even more interesting is that this niche – led by the likes of Zipcar, Uber and Airbnb – sprouted out of nowhere.
Ostensibly, the only thing that millennials purchase and maintain ownership of is their smartphones.
2. Millennials Apathetic About Religion
A new study suggests that the demographic born between 1980 and 2000 is the least religious generation of Americans in the last 60 years.
Researchers looked at data from four national surveys of U.S. teens aged between 13 and 18 from 1966 to 2014. The researchers discovered that millennials are the least likely to cite religion as being important to them, have any respect for religious institutions or spend time praying.
Today’s high school seniors and college students are twice as likely as those in the 1970s to never go to religious organizations. Also, three-quarters of millennials say religion is "not important at all."
"Millennial adolescents are less religious than Boomers and GenX’ers were at the same age," said Jean Twenge, study author and San Diego State University psychology professor. "We also looked at younger ages than the previous studies. More of today’s adolescents are abandoning religion before they reach adulthood, with an increasing number not raised with religion at all."
3. Millennial Workers Becoming Managers
Despite the vast number of portrayals of millennials being lazy, entitled and disillusioned in the workforce, a majority of millennial managers transferred into management in the last five years.
According to a new survey by accounting firm EY, 85 percent of millennial managers have entered management since 2010 and just under two-thirds (62 percent) of full-time millennial employees manage the work of their colleagues.
However, millennials are starting to feel the pressure. Thirty-five percent of millennial managers say it’s harder to manage their professional and personal lives. Nearly half noted that their job responsibilities increased and have been a major factor in the challenge to their work-life balance. Also, 44 percent reported that they now have more responsibilities at home.
"Millennials want to be able to work hard and have a life at the same time," said Karyn Twaronite, EY’s global diversity and inclusiveness officer, in an interview with CNBC. "Flexibility really is a foundational item for them, not just a ’nice to have’."
4. Millennials Officially the Biggest Generation in the Workforce
Pew Research Center generated major headlines in the month of May by releasing a groundbreaking and noteworthy finding: millennials are now officially the biggest working generation in the U.S.
Analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Pew discovered that 53.5 million millennials are in the workforce, which represents about one-third of the entire labor market (as of Q1 2015). This is more than the 52.7 million Generation Xers, 44.6 million Baby Boomers, and 3.7 million Silents.
“With its disproportionately large share of immigrants, and at an age of transition from college to the working world, the millennial generation’s workforce is highly likely to grow even further in the near future,” wrote Richard Fry, a senior researcher at Pew Research Center, in a blog post.
5. Millennial Women Richer Than Their Husbands
Young, rich millennial women are kicking their husbands’ butts.
A new report from U.S. Trust found that wealthy millennial women are likely to make just as much or more than their husbands. Moreover, they’re more likely to make decisions regarding major purchases or household finances.
The report, which defined wealthy as at least $3 million in assets and investments, noted that 30 percent of affluent millennial women were the primary breadwinners, and an additional 21 percent earned the same level of income as their spouse.
What’s even more telling about the results of the study is that millennial women are making more money than any previous generation of females, and they’re taking on more monetary responsibilities in the household, too.
Although those older than millennials joke about how they were coddled growing up and were told how special they are, the data suggest millennials truly are like no other generation before them. They’re not religious, they don’t own anything, and the women are making substantial strides. Millennials are definitely unconventional, and major societal shifts could take place.