Millennial and Gen Z confidence in the economy declines

Published: Tue 21 May 2019 08:48 AM
News Release
Millennial and Gen Z confidence in the economy declines and opinions of business continue to diminish
Deloitte survey of over 16,000 millennials and Gen Zs, including 300 from New Zealand, reveals they are feeling decidedly unsettled about the future
Wellington, 21 May 2019 – Facing continuous technological and societal disruption, millennials and Gen Zs are disillusioned with traditional institutions, skeptical of business’ motives and pessimistic about economic and social progress, according to the 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey, released today.
The global survey of more than 13,000 millennials from 36 countries and over 3,000 Gen Zs from 10 countries, included over 300 respondents from New Zealand. It found that despite global economic growth, expansion and opportunity, younger generations are wary about the world and their place in it and lean on their values as both consumers and employees.
Deloitte New Zealand partner Lauren Foster says that from the economic recession a decade ago to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, millennials and Gen Zs have grown up in a unique moment in time impacting connectivity, trust, privacy, social mobility and work.
“This uncertainty is reflected in their personal views on business, government, leadership and the need for positive societal change agents,” says Ms Foster.
“As business leaders, we must continue to embrace the issues resonating most with these two generations, or risk losing out on talent in an increasingly competitive market.”
This “generation disrupted” is no less ambitious than previous generations: More than half want to earn high salaries and be wealthy. But their priorities have evolved, or at least been delayed. Having children, buying homes and other traditional signals of adulthood “success markers” do not top their list of priorities. Instead, they’d rather travel and see the world (67 percent of NZ respondents and 57 percent of global respondents) and help their communities (48 percent NZ/46 percent global).
Their desire to make a difference is evident in both their personal concerns—climate change and the environment topped the list—and in the factors they consider when choosing consumer products and services, as well as employers.
Other results from the 2019 survey include:
• Optimism wavers – Thirty-three percent of NZ respondents (29 percent global) claim they are ‘satisfied’ with their life nowadays. While 21 percent (26 percent global) think that the economic situation will improve in the next year and 22 percent (NZ and global) think that the social/political situation will improve, these numbers are down markedly from last year’s response of 43 percent and 44 percent respectively. Overall, respondents’ anticipation for economic improvement dipped to the lowest level in six years.
• Ambivalence toward business continues – Forty-nine percent of NZ respondents (55 percent global) say that businesses in general have a positive impact on the wider society in which they operate. But 78 percent (76 percent global) agree that businesses ‘focus on their own agendas rather than considering the wider society’. Fifty-five percent (49 percent global) expect to leave their current employer within two years, while 17 percent (28 percent global) expect to stay with their current employer beyond five years. And 85 percent (84 percent global) would consider joining the gig economy, not instead of working full time but rather to supplement existing employment and/or achieve better work/life balance.
• Values remain core – Business need to work hard to improve their reputations with millennials. Forty-nine percent of NZ respondents (42 percent global) have started or deepened business relationships because they believe companies’ products or services are having positive impacts on society and/or the environment, while 47 percent (38 percent global) have ended or lessened relationships with companies perceived to have a negative impact.
• Concerns about the impact of social media are pervasive – While a majority 59 percent of NZ respondents (55 percent global) feel that on balance social media does more good than harm, 68 percent (64 percent global) agreed they’d be physically healthier and 67 percent (60 percent global) said they’d be happier if they reduced their social media consumption; and 42 percent (41 percent global) reported they would like to completely stop using social media.
• MillZ Mood Monitor unveiled – As part of Deloitte’s ongoing research on millennials, and now Gen Z, Deloitte is also unveiling a new tool called the ‘MillZ Mood Monitor’, which will track respondents’ year-over-year optimism about key political, personal, environmental and socioeconomic topics. The score for Kiwi millennials was 34 on a scale where 0 indicates no positive feelings at all, 50 indicates half thinking ‘we are making progress’, and 100 indicates ‘everything is awesome’. This compares to 39 globally, 32 for mature markets and 48 for emerging markets. NZ millennial men were more optimistic than NZ millennial women, with scores of 37 and 31 respectively.
The entire 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey can be found at
About the Survey
The 2019 report is based on the views of 13,416 millennials questioned across 42 countries. Millennials included in the study were born between January 1983 and December 1994. This report also includes responses from 3,009 Gen Z respondents in 10 countries. Gen Z respondents were born between January 1995 and December 2002. The overall sample size of 16,425 represents the largest survey of millennials and Gen Zs completed in the eight years Deloitte Global has published this report. This year’s survey was expanded to include a more diverse group of participants, including 31 percent who did not have full-time employment status, and 34 percent who did not hold a college or university degree.
About Deloitte in New Zealand
Deloitte New Zealand brings together more than 1300 specialist professionals providing audit, tax, technology and systems, strategy and performance improvement, risk management, corporate finance, business recovery, forensic and accounting services. Our people are based in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown; serving clients that range from New Zealand’s largest companies and public sector organisations to smaller businesses with ambition to grow. Deloitte New Zealand is a member of Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited and of the Deloitte Network. For more information about Deloitte in New Zealand, go to our website
About Deloitte
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms and their affiliated entities are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more.
About Deloitte Asia Pacific
Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited is a company limited by guarantee and a member firm of DTTL. Members of Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited and their related entities provide services in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, East Timor, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand, The Marshall Islands, The Northern Mariana Islands, The People’s Republic of China (incl. Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR), The Philippines and Vietnam, in each of which operations are conducted by separate and independent legal entities.

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