WORK-LIFE BALANCE / NOV. 10, 2015
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November Millennial Data

American millennials’ love affair with socialism and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders continues. Baby Boomers are actually spending more time online than millennials. A new study suggests social media is making millennials less social. More millennials are critical of major food manufacturers than any other demographic. And millennials are the most financially confident generation today. 

See Also: October Millennial Data 

These are the top five millennial data points over the past thirty days.

1. Bernie Sanders Popular Among Millennial Voters

In 2008 and 2012, millennials admitted to the then-Texas Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul curing their political apathy. They fell in love with the Ron Paul Revolution. Today, millennials are "feeling the bern" with Vermont Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Indeed, these are two completely different candidates: one supports freedom and capitalism, while the other endorses big government and socialism. 

A new NBC News/Survey Monkey poll found that millennials born between 1985 and 1997 are more than twice as likely to cast a ballot for the self-identified socialist candidate, than for former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The numbers show 54 percent support for Sanders and 26 percent for Clinton. Clinton’s support from millennials has drastically gone down from 36 percent in August to 26 percent in October.  

Now, contrast this with Baby Boomers, Generation X and overall voters who are supporting Clinton. When taking millennials out of the equation, Clinton maintains a comfortable 14-point lead over Sanders with 45 percent to 31 percent, respectively. 

Political analysts are skeptical that Sanders’s support from millennials can actually translate into votes. In the last presidential election, fewer than half of those 18 to 29 voted (20.5 million, or 45 percent turnout). 

Maybe this time it will be different. Sanders is catering to the concerns that millennials have and is promising a lot: free college tuition, $18 trillion in new spending and a $15 minimum wage.

2. Baby Boomers Are Unseating Millennials Online

We have always come to the conclusion that younger people, who have spent most or nearly all of their lives with computers and the Internet, are heavy online users. But this isn’t necessarily the case, suggests a new report. 

According to Limelight Networks’s "2015 State of the User Experience" report, time spent online in the past year has gone up significantly. In fact, 45 percent of the study participants admitted to spending more than 15 hours every week on their personal computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. 

But what’s turning heads and generating headlines is the fact that Baby Boomers, those who are between the ages of 51 and 69, are spending more time watching cat videos, checking their email and trolling comments section than millennials. Here are the figures: more than half (51 percent) of Baby Boomers are online 15 hours per week, while 41 percent of millennials are online 15 hours each week. 

"We have more options than ever -more content, more video, and more shopping. And while patience has increased slightly, people -whether they are Millennials, Gen X or Baby Boomers- all expect a personalized, highly-functioning web experience," said Jason Thibeault, senior director of marketing strategy at Limelight Networks, in a statement. "If not they will look elsewhere. With the explosion in content, branded entertainment, video and e-commerce, the stakes are higher than ever." 

The societal observation these days is that millennials spend more time on the Internet and on their mobile devices than actually making human contact. Well, the next time someone says that about millennials, be sure to inform them that Baby Boomers are doing the same thing. 

3. Social Media Making Millennials Less Social

Speaking of mobile devices, did you know that millennials are addicted to their phones? Anyone can come to this conclusion by simply observing a young group of friends who are sitting at a restaurant on their phones. Or people sitting on a bus. Or at the movie theater. Well, now there are some data to prove this. 

A new study of 3,000 respondents by Flashgap, a photo-sharing application with tens of thousands of users, discovered that 87 percent of millennials conceded to missing pieces of a conversation because they were focused on their phone. At the same time, however, more than half (54 percent) were concerned that they may miss out on what’s happening with their other friends if they’re not checking their social networks. 

When asked about social media etiquette in social settings, females were found to be the biggest culprits of spending more time on their phone. According to the survey, 76 percent of females checked their social networks when out with friends. This easily eclipses their male counterparts by 22 points. 

As millennials were out with their friends, they would frequently check their Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Snapchat and Tinder apps. 

Julian Kabab, co-founder of FlashGap, told CNBC that millennials may be missing out on a key social interaction when they’re at parties. Since they’re looking more at their phones because they want to be in the know, they won’t be communicating with their fellow peers. 

"People miss out on parties because they want to see what’s going on, on social networks, take beautiful selfies and add filters to their pictures," said Kabab. 

Essentially, the under-30 crowd is more focused on their online lives as opposed to their real lives. The important question is: what will happen to the art of conversation? Will it disappear forever? 

4. Millennials Critical of Major Food Manufacturers

The relationship between millennials and large food manufacturers is turning sour, at least that’s what the conclusion has been made in a new report by Mintel, a market research firm. 

According to the new study, millennials are more than twice as likely as any other age demographic to maintain a paucity of trust for major food manufacturers.  

Here’s what the data show: 

  • 43 percent of millennials in the U.S. do not trust big food manufacturers, compared to 18 percent of non-millennials. 
  • 74 percent of millennials say they want food companies to be transparent about how they produce their food, which is close to the 69 percent of non-millennials. 
  • More than one-third of millennials identify the retailer and brand as important factors for purchasing food. This is higher than the roughly one-quarter of non-millennials. 

The authors of the report aver that millennials are far different than preceding generations in regards to food brands and the approach to their own health. These are crucial factors that contribute to the brands they use, product preferences and food shopping behaviors. 

How can food manufacturers regain the trust of millennial consumers? Food experts note that millennials want brands to be genuine, attempt an authentic connection and recognize millennials’ impact on their businesses. Since millennials are the dominant consumers right now, food brands may not have any other choice. 

5. Financially Confident Thy Name is Millennial

Who knew millennials were confident in their personal finances? Despite the storm clouds that engulf the skies of millennials because of their astronomical student debts, ballooning credit card debts and lackluster employment opportunities, millennials are confident in their own finances. 

BlackRock’s 2015 Annual Global Investor Survey suggests that millennials are the most financially confident generation today. It may have to do with youthful exuberance, suggests BlackRock Managing Director Hollie Fagan, but it’s better than the doom-and-gloom we often imagine. 

The survey found that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of millennials feel positive about their financial future, while nearly half (48 percent) of millennials say investing is for people like them.  

Because they witnessed the crises that unfolded soon after the dot-com bubble collapse and the Great Recession, millennials have taken a more conservative, prudent and proactive approach to their finances, both for the present and the future. More than one-third (34 percent) of millennials have meetings with financial advisers, while more than half (58 percent) are interested in robo-advisors. 

However, even with the greatest of confidence, millennials are still worried about their retirement, especially when it comes to putting away a sufficient amount of savings. They worry they won’t have enough money on hand to last throughout their winter years. 

One of the common issues that millennials share with their older cohorts is the fact that they have too much cash on hand. In other words, they’re ignoring the stock market like the plague. This may be what hinders millennials from having a comfortable post-work life. 

See Also: September Millennial Data 

Bernie Sanders may be able to kick Hillary Clinton off the Democratic Party throne thanks to millennials. Millennials are being overtaken as dedicated online users. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are making the tech-savvy generation the least sociable out of everyone else. Large food manufacturers may have to beware of millennial consumers over the coming years. And, surprisingly, millennials are the most financially confident generation, despite high debt levels, stagnant wages and hopelessness! 

What do you think are the top millennial headlines? Let us know in the comments section below.

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