Key Finding 1:
Gen Z optimism around job opportunities in the PNW is declining and is at its lowest level since the height of COVID.
While the majority is still optimistic, there has been a notable drop among Gen Z employees who are optimistic about potential job opportunities in the PNW since last year. After an increase in 2022, optimism has dropped to as low as it was at the onset of COVID.
Business Leaders 2023 2022 2021 2019
Optimistic 75% 76% 78% 73%
Pessimistic 12% 5% 11% 4%
PNW Employees 2023 2022 2021 2019
Optimistic 57% 63% 49% 59%
Pessimistic 22% 11% 23% 12%
PNW Gen Z Employees 2023 2022 2021 2019
Optimistic 60% 66% 61% 91%
Pessimistic 14% 6% 14% 3%
Key Finding 2:
There’s an erosion of confidence in the business climate among Gen Z employees.
Nearly 8 in 10 of the youngest generation of PNW employees say the business climate in the Pacific Northwest has either plateaued or declined in the past three years. More Gen Z employees feel this way now than in pre-COVID times, when approximately 5 in 10 held the same sentiment.
Looking ahead, however, 61% of Gen Z employees are optimistic of the region’s business climate in the next three years. While the majority of Gen Z employees have held this sentiment for the last three survey years, this year’s share is down 27 percentage points from 2019 (88%).
Key Finding 3:
While money is important, it isn’t everything; Gen Z employees have diverse motivations for getting a second job or starting a side hustle.
Nearly 80% of Gen Z employees have or plan to find a “side gig” to supplement their income (81%), prepare them for future career moves (73%), and find a sense of purpose (73%).
Other notable motivations for finding a side hustle include:
- I am hoping to grow it into a full-time business (56%)
- I am doing something that helps my community (58%)
- To meet new people (58%)
- I do it to avoid being bored (62%)
*Gen Z values differ slightly due to overlapping categories that lead to duplicate counts
Key Finding 4:
Gen Z employees are increasingly concerned about labor shortages and employee turnover, especially how those issues may hinder success—for themselves and the companies they work for.