Generational Diversity in the Workforce

Generational diversity in the workforce


Generational diversity is officially here. For the first time ever, 2019 saw five generations actively participating in the workforce. The average age of today’s worker is getting older. The number of unemployed people over the age of 50 is at record lows. And cross-generational integration has become a critical element of workplace harmony and productivity.

So, we thought it worthwhile to provide an understanding of the workforce make-up across the globe, both as it stands today, and what it looks like for the future.

Five Generations working side-by-side

Generational diversity is a new phenomenon for western labour forces. Across western economies, employees are living longer; often, these workers remain in the workforce because they need the money or because their work gives them enjoyment.

Unlike every other demographic group, the percentage of older employees is climbing.

The result? Companies now have a workforce with the widest age range in history.

Employees fresh out of university are working alongside colleagues that are sometimes fifty years their senior.

The modern, cross-generational workplace is experiencing a phenomenon never before seen in modern times.

Traditionalists: born before 2945

Boomers: born 1946 – 1964

Gen X: born 1965 – 1976

Millennials: born 1977 – 1997

Gen Z: born after 1997

Generational diversity globally


75%: By 2025, millennials will comprise three-quarters of the global workforce

People between the ages of 15 to 24 make up almost 20% of the world’s population

People between the ages 15 to 24 account for more than 15% of the global labour force

By 2020, 41.0% of the global population will be 24 years old or younger



The increase in India’s working-age population in the next decade will account for more than half of the total increase across Asia

India could better benefit from growing the youth population by increasing the labour force participation of women


Japan’s population declined by over a quarter of a million people between 2017 and 2018 and the decline is projected to hit half a million workers in the next ten years further exacerbating generational diversity

Slightly over 28% of Japan’s total population was 65 or older in 2018, a record high


China’s working-age population shrank by 25 million between 2012 and 2017

While China’s labour force remains large, the decline in young adults has led to labour shortages in certain industries


In 2017, 19% of the population was younger than 15.17

This is projected to decrease to between 16% and 18% by 2066

The average tenure for Australians aged 25 years and younger, is just one year and eight months

The number of Australians working past the age of 55 has grown exponentially in the past 40 years; there are now more than half a million people over the age of 65 in full-time and part-time work. This makes for vast differences and generational diversity in Australia’s workforce and makes planning for the future of work, incredibly complex.


Despite the low growth of the working-age population, Canada has the highest proportion of working-age people of all the G7 Countries

According to various labour force projections, the number of seniors in the population could increase from 17.2% in 2018 to between 21.4% and 29.5% in 2068

In 2016, 66.5% of Canada’s population was working-age (15–64)


Millennials account for over a third of the US labour force and will soon be its largest living, working generation

Despite the Increase in millennials, the overall US population continues to grow older: the population of older Americans is expected to more than double by 2060

Young immigrants will continue to contribute to the growth of working millennials; these workers are increasingly likely to be foreign-born with a first language other than English

By 2030, net migration is projected to become the primary cause of population growth in the United States


There are fewer millennials and generation Z in the workforce than boomers in Europe

The EU’s population of those aged 80 years or older is projected to more than double by 2100 (from 5.6% in 2018 to 14.6% in 2100)

The population of adults in retirement age (65 years or older) will make up 31.3% of the EU’s population by 2100, compared to 19.8% in 2018.

The retirement-age population will be larger than the working-age population in Europe in the coming decades. The working-age population is expected to continue to decline until 2100



As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutionsCXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy.

If you are interested in discussing our insights on generational diversity in the workforce, and would like to find out more about how we can work together, please contact us.