The Hartford Newsroom

Gen Y Gap: The Hartford Poll Finds Industries That Drive U.S. Economy Are Failing To Attract Millennials

November 19, 2015
"Millennials can help close this leadership gap by widening their career searches and exploring jobs, salaries and benefits before writing off whole sectors of the U.S. job market."

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hartford released new research that shows key industries driving the U.S. economy, including retail, construction and manufacturing, are failing to attract a giant generation of leaders – the 80 million Millennials (ages 18-34) in the United States.

“The results reveal a quiet crisis – a generation of leaders who aren’t interested in many businesses that drive our nation’s economy,” said The Hartford’s Millennial Workplace Expert Lindsey Pollak. “Millennials can help close this leadership gap by widening their career searches and exploring jobs, salaries and benefits before writing off whole sectors of the U.S. job market.”

A vast majority of Millennials (80 percent) consider themselves as leaders today and want to be leaders in the next five years (69 percent), according to The Hartford’s 2015 Millennial Leadership Survey.1 However, only 7 percent of young leaders in the third annual survey said they are interested in working in construction, retail or manufacturing. Other industries that rated low on the Gen Y work wish list are insurance, which four percent of Millennials said they’re drawn to, and wholesaling and utilities at 3 percent each.

“At The Hartford, we are working hard to make sure Millennials know that insurance offers a variety of career paths such as tech, big data and marketing, as well as flexible work and leadership development,” said Susan Johnson, head of diversity and inclusion at The Hartford. “We don’t want to miss out on future leaders simply because of misconceptions about the industry.”

Arts and entertainment topped the Millennials’ work wish list, with 40 percent of Gen Y survey participants saying they want to work in this industry. Second on the list was education at 36 percent, and technology at 36 percent.

The top way to recruit Gen Y employees is providing a variety of career opportunities, according to 46 percent of the survey participants in the national poll. Additional recruiting tips from Millennials include offering:

  • Flexible work schedules (43 percent)
  • Benefits, such as health, life, and disability insurance (40 percent); and
  • Career advancement and leadership opportunities (33 percent).

“Year over year, our research shows that the right benefits play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining employees,” said Mike Concannon, executive vice president of The Hartford’s Group Benefits business. “We are committed to working with our brokers to help our employer clients hire and develop the next generation of decision-makers, while ensuring these young leaders understand the role that benefits can play in protecting their leadership potential.”

As a leading provider of group benefits, The Hartford protects the lives and incomes of more than 12 million working Americans. For more than three years, The Hartford has partnered with Pollak to help Millennials, the largest generation in the U.S. workforce today, make informed benefit choices.

About The Hartford
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1. The Hartford's 2015 Millennial Leadership Survey is a national omnibus survey conducted weekly among a sample of 1,000 U.S. consumers, ages 18-34, who had “some college education or higher. Interviewing was conducted on behalf of The Hartford using ORC International’s Generational Millennial CARAVAN® Omnibus in August 2015.


The Hartford
Kelly J. Carter, 860-547-2122
Tom Hambrick, 860-547-9746


Multimedia Files:

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The Hartford's Millennial Workplace Expert Lindsey Pollak (Photo: Business Wire)
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A New Generation of Leaders -- The Hartford's 2015 Millennial Leadership Survey