Millennials are now the single largest group within the work force, and will soon become the biggest consumer group, too. 

Understanding, and being able to engage with, Millennials is going to determine how successful your business will be.

Here are 29 Interesting and surprising facts that will help you to better understand them:

  1. Millennials are carrying a total of $1 trillion in student debt.
  2. Over 63 percent of Gen-Y workers have a bachelor's degree.
  3. 48 percent of employed college graduates work in jobs that don't require a four-year degree.
  4. 45 percent believe a decent paying job is a "privilege," not a "right."
  5. 64 percent of Millennials would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring.
  6. 88 percent prefer a collaborative work culture rather than a competitive one.
  7. 74 percent want flexible work schedules.
  8. 50 percent do not believe that Social Security will exist when they reach their retirement age.
  9. 92 percent believe that business success should be measured by more than just profit.
  10. 40 percent of Millennials think that blogging about workplace issues is acceptable, compared to 28 percent of Boomers. 
  11. 80 percent of Gen-Y say they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews and feel that this is imperative for their growth and understanding of a job.
  12. 70 percent have "Friended" their managers and/or co-workers on Facebook. 
  13. 71 percent don't always obey social-media policies at work.
  14. Millennials are connected to an average of 16 co-workers on Facebook.
  15. 56 percent of Gen-Yers won't work at a company if they ban social-media access. 
  16. 69 percent believe office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis. 
  17. Millennials actually stay with their employers longer than Gen-X workers did at the same ages; in fact, more Gen-Xers spent less than one year at any one job.
  18. 35 percent of employed Millennials have started their own business on the side to supplement their income.
  19. 54 percent either want to start a business or already have started one. 
  20. About 37 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds have been underemployed or out of work during the recession, the highest share among the age group in more than 30 years.
  21. 84 percent say that helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.
  22. They're more loyal to employers than previous generations.
  23. The top ideal employers of currently employed Millennials are Google, Apple, Facebook, the U.S. State Department, and Disney.
  24. 41 percent of Millennials have no landline at home and rely on their cell phones for communication.
  25. Millennials value community, family, and creativity in their work.
  26. Millennials are not just virtually connected via social networks; they value the role that they play in these communities.
  27. Millennials are considered multitaskers extraordinaire, though brain science tells us that multitasking is a myth. More likely, they are apt at switching tasks quickly enough to appear to be doing them simultaneously.
  28. Millennials are the most racially diverse generation. Only 56 percent of Millennials are white, compared to 73 percent of Baby Boomers (52- to 70-year-olds). Millennials are almost twice as likely to be Hispanic as older Americans (19 percent versus 10 percent), and more likely to identify as African American (15 percent versus 11 percent) and Asian (6 percent versus 4 percent).
  29. They are more tolerant of different races and groups than older generations (47 percent versus 19 percent), with 45 percent agreeing with preferential treatment to improve the position of minorities.

In short, many Millennials are overeducated, under-employed, heavily in debt, and looking to make a difference in the world--either working for themselves, or in a company that doesn't just focus on profit. They also want to work in a collaborative, flexible environment that doesn't require them to be in the office all the time, and one that will allow them to utilize social media.

Any company that can adapt and accommodate these needs is going to have access to large and talented pool of resources, who will be loyal and do great work.

What is your company doing to attract and retain the best Millennial talent?

Published on: May 2, 2016