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Singapore's millennials are quickly losing faith in the world around them, suggests Deloitte survey

Michelle Zhu

SINGAPORE (May 21): Be it their general world views or personal career situations, Singapore’s millennials are becoming increasingly jaded when compared to a year ago as well as to their global peers.

This is according to Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey results for 2019, which is based on the views of 13,416 millennials across 42 countries.  

Out of the 200 respondents surveyed in Singapore, just 16% said they believe their country’s economic outlook will improve over the next 12 months – versus 56% a year ago and the global 2019 average of 26%.

The top personal concerns among this demographic were namely: income inequality/distribution (28%) and unemployment (27%) followed by environmental issues and economic growth (22% each).

Similar to their global peers, Singapore’s millennials displayed a diminishing confidence in businesses and their positive impact on the wider society at just 54% for the 2019 survey, down from 77% a year ago and one percentage point below the global average.

Employed millennials in Singapore are also more likely to perceive the advent of Industry 4.0 to threaten their future job prospects, with 61% saying it will make it harder to get or change a job in the future.

This is significantly higher than the 46% global average, although the majority of both Singaporean and global millennials believe they have either all, or some, of the required skills (81% for both Singapore and globally) as the working environment is shaped by Industry 4.0.

Pessimism is also rife when it comes to the local jobs market outlook; just slightly over half or 58% of local millennials agreed there were “no barriers” to prevent them from reaching their career ambitions – two percentage points lower than the global average of 60%.

Furthermore, Singapore millennials say they intend to leave their current jobs with the next two years (53% in 2019 versus 46% in 2018), while there were also fewer of the minority who intended to stay with their current employers beyond five years (24% in 2019 versus 28% in 2018).

This year’s survey also saw the introduction of the MillZ Mood Monitor, a new tool by Deloitte to track respondents’ year-over-year optimism about key political, personal, environmental and socioeconomic topics.

Singaporean millennials have notably scored lower at 35 on the mood index than their global counterparts (39), outperforming their mature market counterparts (32) but still falling behind the emerging markets score (48).

“From the economic recession a decade ago to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, millennials and Gen Zs have grown up in a unique moment in time impacting connectivity, trust, privacy, social mobility and work,” says Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global chief talent officer.

“This uncertainty is reflected in their personal views on business, government, leadership and the need for positive societal change agents. As business leaders, we must continue to embrace the issues resonating most with these two generations, or risk losing out on talent in an increasingly competitive market,” she adds.