Fed Survey: Millennial Workers Optimistic About Jobs, Wages

Optimism about future job prospects is on the rise among young adult workers, according to findings from a survey released today by the Federal Reserve. Sixty-one percent of workers between ages 18 and 30 said they were optimistic about future opportunities, up from 45 percent from the previous survey in 2013.

The survey noted a correlation between educational attainment and young workers’ attitudes toward their job prospects; optimism increased with higher levels of education. More young adults also said they saw value in higher education than in the previous survey — 54 percent said that the financial benefits of their postsecondary education outweighed the costs, compared to 43 percent in 2013. When it came to financing postsecondary education, more than half of respondents said they had received some financial help from parents, and 46 percent said they had incurred debt to pay for their education.

Along with increased optimism, young workers also reported being more satisfied with their salary and benefits than in 2013, and overall, respondents said they prefer steady employment (62 percent) to higher pay (36 percent). Self-sufficiency also improved since 2013, with more than seven out of 10 reporting they make enough money to meet their monthly expenses.

In addition, more workers felt they would be able to survive a financial shock — 40 percent said they would be able to meet their monthly living expenses if out of work for the next three months, up from just 24 percent in 2013. Many also reported receiving external financial support from family members to help with bills, health care expenses, educational costs and child care costs.