State of Gen Z 2021-2022 - Gen Z as Employees and Workforce Trendsetters

THE STATE OF GEN Z® 2021-2022: Gen Z as Employees and Workforce Trendsetters

Understanding, Recruiting, Retaining, and Developing Gen Z at Work

Gen Z employees are here. Now up to age 26, they are the fastest-growing generation in the workforce and driving tremendous change, challenge, and opportunity as they navigate enormous and unique challenges as new and emerging employees during a global pandemic.

As CGK first broke the news nationally, Gen Z was the #1 generation to lose their job at the beginning of the pandemic, face a reduction in pay, and a reduction in hours. However, this resilient, diverse, engaged generation persisted and navigated back into a world of hybrid employment, the gig economy, fully remote work and eventually the Great Resignation.

In the 2021-2022 State of Gen Z®, we dive deep into what you as an employer, leader, manager, or parent need to know about this rapidly emerging and influential generation of workforce trendsetters.

This year’s national study included more than 1,000 members of Gen Z and compared them to more than 1,000 Millennials across the U.S. The side-by-side generational comparison is extremely valuable as business leaders recognize that Gen Z is not “Millennials 2.0”, but a very different generation that has come of age with different workplace norms, experiences, technology usage, parents, values, and much more—including the impact of COVID-19 at a critical life stage and entry into employment.

Here are a sample of the questions answered in the 2021-2022 State of Gen Z® study on Gen Z as Employees and Workforce Trendsetters:

• What job factors are more important to recruit, retain, and develop Gen Z now compared to 1 year ago?

• What social causes supported by a company will most motivate Gen Z to apply there?

• How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Gen Z’s career?

• What are Gen Z’s industry and work environment expectations for their future?

For research, speaking, or media inquiries, please contact our friendly team at The Center for Generational Kinetics at or +1 (512) 259-6877.

Below are a few of the many findings from our 2021-2022 THE STATE OF GEN Z® 2021-2022 employee and workforce trendsetter national research study:

The State of Gen Z® 2021-2022 Report: Gen Z as Employees and Workforce Trendsetters

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“Recruiting and retaining Gen Z has never been more important or difficult than it is right now. This generation is rapidly emerging and they are looking for jobs differently than previous generations, want training differently than previous generations, and have come-of-age with remote work being a global option. Employers, leaders, managers, HR professionals, and recruiters need actionable insights into Gen Z's employment mindset and drivers to attract and retain the talent in this incredibly exciting, diverse, generation. We are excited for you to read and implement all the discoveries in this year's State of Gen Z Employment and Workforce Trendsetters report. There are so many insights you'll be able to implement right away!”
—Denise Villa, PhD, CEO, CGK, co-author of The State of Gen Z® Research Series and co-author of the bestselling book, Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business and What to Do About it

65% of Gen Z 

who worked remotely last year felt more connected to their coworkers.

43% of Gen Z

plan to change their career or industry because of what they learned or experienced during the pandemic.

61% of Gen Z

would like their employer to provide the option for daily payment of their wages.

35% Gen Z

believe the pandemic has already delayed the advancement of their career.

Gen Z is significantly more likely than Millennials to apply to a company that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.

There are many more exciting findings in this year’s State of Gen Z® 2021-2022 for employers, leaders, managers, community members, and parents. This research is only available from The Center for Generational Kinetics, LLC. Fill out the short form on this page to receive your free copy of the entire 25-page research findings report.

About the 2021-2022 State of Gen Z® Annual Research Study Series

Each year, The Center for Generational Kinetics leads The State of Gen Z® Annual Research Study to dive deep into new and emerging trends, solutions, and insights as Gen Z emerges further into adulthood and gains more urgency and influence as trendsetters, consumers, and employees.

This year’s annual Gen Z study uncovered so many exciting findings that we are releasing it as a series of three research reports: Gen Z as Employees and Workforce Trendsetters, Gen Z as Consumers, Savers, and Influencing Personal Finance, and Gen Z as Trendsetters, Impacting the Future of All Generations. The State of Gen Z® research study was designed and conducted by the PhD-led research team at The Center for Generational Kinetics.

To lead this research, The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) designed a custom Gen Z and Millennial national study. The quantitative study was administered to 2,088 U.S. respondents ages 13-35, including 1,070 Gen Z (ages 13-25) and 1,018 Millennials (ages 26-35). The sample was weighted to the 2020 U.S. Census for age, region, gender, and ethnicity. The national study was conducted online from October 1, 2021, to October 21, 2021. Figures are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error is +/-3.1%.

Gen Z Research and Speaking That Solves Challenges for HR and Workforce Leaders

The Center for Generational Kinetics has led almost 100 generational studies, spanning four continents and multiple languages. Each year, we work with clients from global financial services companies and manufacturing leaders to industry-leading retailers and pioneering technology companies. We have helped financial service providers invent new products and offers, launched new cars to a new generation of buyers, and helped hospitals attract and retain the next generation of nurses.

We are passionate about helping you solve your generational challenges and drive measurable results with recruiting, retaining, engaging, and developing Gen Z and each generation. Contact us now to schedule a conversation with our research or speaking teams. You can also reach our friendly team by phone, email, or our contact page:

+1 (512) 259-6877

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“Gen Z employees have been through an incredible amount of change and uncertainty that has significantly impacted the generation at exactly the time they are rapidly entering and advancing in the workforce. The Great Resignation. Covid-19. Remote work. And so much more have forever changed how Gen Z looks for a job, what they want from an employer, and what works to get them to stay and develop their talent.
Every organization of every size is being affected by the challenging labor environment. Gen Z is likely a key solution. In this year's State of Gen Z as Employees and Workforce Trendsetters report, you'll find unexpected discoveries and new insights into what works now to unlock the potential of this generation at the time when leaders urgently need them."
—Jason Dorsey, President, CGK, co-author of The State of Gen Z® Research Series and co-author of the bestselling book, Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business and What to Do About it