Global workforce by 2020, by generation

Seventy percent of the global workforce will be shared equally by Generation X and Generation Y by 2020, with forecasts suggesting that Generation Z will make up nearly a quarter of the workforce as they start to enter adulthood.

Employment rates in industrialized countries

In member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), employment rates range between 50 and 85 percent of the working age population. Northern European countries such as Iceland, Sweden, and Denmark have some of the highest employment rates, along with New Zealand and Japan. Italy, Greece, and Turkey had the lowest employment rates in OECD countries.

The staffing industry

Recruitment firms are now well-established in many industrialized countries. The global staffing industry was estimated to have revenues of 466 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, with firms from the United States generating a 31 percent share of that figure. Firms from Japan also held a significant market share and this highlights the growth in the staffing industry across Asia, with the Chinese market expecting revenues to increase by around 17 percent in 2019.

Employment worldwide by 2020, by generation

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Release date

December 2016



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

According to the source, this data is "based on an analysis of UN population data. The term 'Millennial' is interchangeable with 'Generation Y' and refers to those born between 1982 and 1996, ages 20-34."

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Statistics on "Millennials in the U.S."

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