Millennials

Almost nine in 10 Spanish millennials would go abroad for a job

Other issues of concern for group include climate change and political corruption, WEF survey shows

Eduardo Fierro, Cristina Mateo, Elías Rodríguez, Andrés Huerta, Teresa López, y Raúl Tejada
Eduardo Fierro, Cristina Mateo, Elías Rodríguez, Andrés Huerta, Teresa López, y Raúl TejadaC. ROSILLO

Climate change is the main issue concerning the world’s millennials – those born between 1982 and 2004 – according to the annual Global Shapers Survey just released by the World Economic Forum. Half of all young people surveyed said this issue was a pressing problem for the world, ahead of wars and conflicts, selected by 39% of respondents, and social inequality, which was highlighted by 31% of people who took part.

These responses come from a questionnaire answered by some 31,000 people from 186 countries and territories, between the ages of 18 and 35 years.

On the Spain front, results show that 8 out of 10 young Spaniards believe corruption and government accountability are a major problem in Spain, making it the most pressing issue. The lack of economic and labor opportunities was also selected as a problem by 74.4% of Spanish poll participants and social inequality was selected as a major issue by 39.4% of respondents.

Globalization of the workforce is not a concern for the millennial generation. Almost 9 out of 10 Spaniards surveyed for Global Shapers say they would move to another country to find a job or improve their employment position. The list of destinations they would move to is led by the United States, with 24% of Spanish millennials opting for this choice, followed by Germany at 8.2%. The remaining options were France, Italy, Australia, and Canada.

The desire to emigrate is higher in Spain than among millennials from other countries, where an average one in five responded that a better working life would not be a reason to pack their bags. At a global level, the United States is still the top choice when it comes to moving for work with 18.2% of people surveyed choosing this option. Spain ranked eighth on the list of possible destinations (3.6%).

The responses from the almost 500 young Spanish participants, who are mostly students, also show that 57% consider it “very” or “extremely” important that the government addresses problems that face third-world countries. As for what they think needs to change in Spanish society so that they can feel freer, 60.1% of millennials responded that they want equal opportunities for all and 43.7% want greater job security.

At the international level, more than half of the millennials participating in the survey believe their opinion is ignored when it comes to making important decisions for the country. They also responded that corruption is the main issue in their government, although the percentages were lower than in Spain. The newer generation argues governments could regain their confidence by fighting corruption and removing corrupt politicians from their positions.

Most millennials believe their opinion is ignored when it comes to making important decisions

The study also showed that millennials around the world are optimistic regarding their jobs and technology. More than three quarters of people surveyed believe that technology creates more jobs than it destroys. Ethical questions about technology had more mixed responses. A total of 40% of respondents are completely against implanting a chip under their skin in order to improve skills. In this respect, men (30%) are more likely to favor this development than women (17%).

Millennials believe artificial intelligence constitutes the most likely next major technological leap forward but half the people in this age group wouldn’t trust a robot to make decisions for them.

English version by Debora Almeida.

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