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Generation Z in the Economy

Grouping people by generational lines can be messy and often inaccurate; however, understanding generational trends can be essential in determining successful business practices. Quite often, articles of this nature focus on understanding the purchasing and working trends common to Millennials - the group of people born roughly between 1980 and 1999. Millennials already make up a significant portion of both the workforce and consumers of our economy and are therefore well understood. Now it's time to focus on understanding Gen Z.

Generation Z, based on many estimates, includes and will include people born between 2000 and the end of 2019. This means that the eldest members of this generation are only just beginning to enter the workforce, and beginning to have disposable income with which to make purchasing decisions. The teenagers and young adults of this generation are beginning to flex their purchasing power, making it essential for businesses and industries to understand their preferences and buying trends.

As with every generation, it is impossible to understand every individual solely by following trends accurately. There will always be members of each group who do not fit within the overall trend of their age group. That being said, understanding trends can help businesses serve a larger portion of the group. Gen Z takes many typically Millennial trends to extremes. The generation is opinionated and passionate, taking hard stands for and against issues that are important to them. They are also one of the most environmentally conscious generations, strongly advocating for more sustainable and environmentally-friendly options. This means that when making buying decisions, this generation will focus on aspects like brand ethics, supply chain visibility, and sustainable practices to guide their choices.

Many, but not all, members of this generation are fairly minimalistic, like their Millenial predecessors. Both Millenials and Gen Zs focus on purchasing items that are either essential or bring joy (Marie Kondo style), eliminating items deemed unnecessary. Convenience, a factor that has largely driven the purchasing decisions of many generations, continues to be important to Gen Zs. As the generation continues to age, making larger purchases, it is expected that Gen Zs will be likely to pay more for purchases, which are both convenient and sustainable or ethical.

Over the next decade or two, those people belonging to Gen Z will continue to make larger contributions to the workforce and the economy. Therefore, businesses must work to understand the up-and-coming generation better to serve them better.

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