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Young Poles Optimistic About Economy, But Financial Worries Linger

CAREERSYoung Poles Optimistic About Economy, But Financial Worries Linger

One in three Polish “Gen Z” individuals and one in four millennials expect an improvement in Poland’s economic situation within the next year. The optimism level among young generations in Poland has increased over the past 12 months and is the highest since the pre-pandemic survey conducted in 2020. However, nearly one-third of “Gen Z” and millennials currently report a lack of financial security, and almost one in six respondents spend their entire paycheck without being able to save. On the other hand, the situation of young people in the labor market has significantly improved compared to the early 21st century when the unemployment rate for those aged 20-29 was over 20%, double the current rate. – says Aleksander Łaszek, Senior Manager in the Economic Analysis Team, Deloitte.

Young Poles are more pessimistic about their financial future than the general population. Improvement in household budgets is expected by 45% of “Gen Z” and only one in three millennials (28%), which is 3 and 12 percentage points lower, respectively, than respondents from all countries. Poles worry about the cost of living more frequently than the general population. Nearly half of Poland’s Gen Z and millennials (46% and 44%, respectively) cite this as their primary concern. Poles differ from their peers in other countries, whose financial situation also worries them but to a lesser extent. Globally, 40% of millennials and 34% of Gen Z express such concerns. These worries negatively impact the well-being of young Poles, with 31% of Gen Y and 38% of Gen Z in Poland reporting frequent or constant stress, and only 45% and 50% of these groups, respectively, rate their mental health positively.

Work also negatively affects respondents’ well-being. Half of the respondents indicated that they are stressed by the lack of support and recognition, overtime work, and too little time to complete tasks. Although the first step to solving organizational problems is to talk to a supervisor, only half of young Poles (53% of Gen Z and 50% of Gen Y) feel comfortable doing so.

Desire for Growth as a Reason for Changing Employers

Similar to other countries, over 7 in 10 Polish respondents feel that their current job gives them a sense of purpose (71% of Gen Z and 73% of Gen Y). However, lower than global results were noted regarding satisfaction with the alignment of employer values with personal values. In Poland, 64% of Gen Z and 60% of millennials are satisfied with this aspect, which is 7 and 12 percentage points lower, respectively, than the overall respondents.

The youngest generations strive to maintain a sense of purpose in their work through their career choices. When looking for a new job, Polish respondents prioritize opportunities for learning and development, salary and financial benefits, and flexible working hours. These factors are key for 31%, 23%, and 21% of Gen Z and 22%, 26%, and 16% of millennials, respectively. The youngest Poles stand out from other respondents, including millennials from their country, with greater determination in seeking jobs that offer development opportunities.

Upon joining an organization, the youngest generations act in accordance with their beliefs, translating into their engagement in tasks. Nearly half of Polish Gen Z (49%) and one-third of millennials (34%) have refused to perform a task due to personal values. The results for Polish Gen Z are consistent with the declarations of all representatives of this generation, while for Gen Y, they are 9 percentage points lower than their peers from other countries.

Employers should pay special attention to the strong desire for learning among young people and their personal values. These are the sources of motivation and a sense that their daily efforts are meaningful and worth the effort. Supporting the curiosity of Gen Z and millennials is valuable not only for these groups but also for the leaders passing on their knowledge. The opportunity to share experiences can be incredibly satisfying and encouraging for further development. Employers should therefore look at the needs and beliefs of the youngest generations with understanding and respect, – says Monika Matysiak-Szymańska, Partner in the Financial Advisory Department, Talent Partner, Deloitte.

About the Study

The survey was conducted between November 24, 2023, and March 11, 2024, among 14,468 Gen Z and 8,373 millennials (22,841 respondents in total) from North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe (including Poland), the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The survey was conducted through an online, self-completed interview. Polish respondents made up 3.5% of the total (301 Gen Z and 200 millennials). In the survey, Gen Z includes individuals born between January 1995 and December 2005, while millennials are those born between January 1983 and December 1994.

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