The job market in the future and the young “Generation Z”

Marianne Levinsen, M.Sc. Political Science, futurist / 21. dec 2017

The job market is in a state of constant change and that hasn’t decreased thanks to the fusion of job markets in Europe and globally.

In Denmark we have two large job markets, the public and the private job markets. In addition, within groups of jobs, there are different job markets depending on the sector, competition, supply of qualified labor and division of labor on a local, European or global scale which has a big impact on work conditions, salary and recruitment options.

Unemployment is decreasing and the Danish economy is slowly recovering. That means that the competition for the best candidates both young and older in areas like IT will increase further in the coming years. We already experience bottlenecks in parts of the country in industry and the off-shore sector, and we’ll see more of these bottlenecks in the coming years. So we’re on track to get back to the good times for many of the good job-takers.

There’s a shortage now and in the future, of technicians and people with an IT-background with short, medium and long educations and preferably with specializations as well. That’s because we’re currently in the digital revolutions 3rd phase, where everything is controlled, altered and developed with new technology and new digital structures. This is true for all professions and both in the private and public organizations.

Exactly because everything from industry to municipality need to develop and improve their systems, as well as increase productivity and efficiency, the skilled technicians and IT-people with various competencies are super hot and wanted.

One of the consequences, particularly for the public sector, is that it’ll mean big challenges with attracting the most competent employees, since it won’t be possible to adjust pay and perks in the same way as is possible in the private sector.

Outsourcing of functions and service won’t just be a way to bring down costs, but also a necessity to solve tasks.

The uncertainty factor is the reserve of labor which is currently finding its own way to us, by way of fugitives and immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The dream scenario is that we’ll be able to route many into the job market by helping with education etc.

Many of us will switch jobs, job functions and title in the coming years as a natural consequence of the developments in the job markets.

Sharing-economy or On-demand economy like Airbnb, Uber, GoMore and Amazon necessitates many considerations. Will we see a bunch of freelancers who push down prices for the professional services like hotels and taxis and will these freelancers live on very low wages?

Or will it create a new and different job market, where companies via apps order workers who are everything from unskilled to highly specialized and can do so, on short notice. In any case, it’ll be interesting to follow the development.

The young Zs (born 1990 till 2001) entering the job market

The Zs were born in the family happy 90s, where children were given their own voice in the family democracy and were therefore also from an early age given influence on shopping, travels and other spending. They were bottled up on individuality from kindergarten, in school and in the rest of the educational system. That’s why they expect to be seen as special and unique from the moment they open the door to their workplace.

They are the first to be “truly digital natives”, because they don’t remember a time before cell phone and internet. They have an ease with and access to the digital and the digital opportunities on an entirely different scale than earlier generations. Today there are already more innovators and the individual and digital approach is something deeply ingrained in their socialization. It’ll be a major benefit for the organizations and businesses that hire them in the coming years.

Socialization of the generation’s values is happening these years, and there’s no doubt that this generation will be more social and engaged in society and less preoccupied with consuming than the previous generation of youths. Because of the financial crisis during their youths and the gloomy forecasts, there’s a generation on its way where many have been diligent, hard working in school and out and who are very conscious that they need to work to get anywhere.

Digital media’s access to communication and the instantaneous reports of events from around the globe make them feel like citizens of the world, and they’re not necessarily dedicated to the nation state.

Agewise they’re between 14 and 25 and the oldest are entering the work places. We can expect to meet super competent digital natives with a great understanding of networking and business in a multiglobal world based in the northern province of Denmark.

In return they expect skilled adults who are ready to spar with them on professional and personal levels. A workplace where everyone, from the boss to the co-workers, are leaders who are worth looking up to or where they can choose which rules and procedures they want to follow themselves.

Published here 2017

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