Gen X Not Slacking

Posted On November 15, 2011

Generation X has long had the reputation as a bunch of cynical, disagreeable slackers who couldn’t be counted on or get along with others. Perhaps because of my own personal stake in the issue, I’ve often tried to make the case that we Gen Xers are hardworking, responsible, and well-adjusted even if a little on the cynical side. Now, a major new study from the University of Michigan and the National Science foundation proves just that: Gen Xers work hard, lead happy and active lives, and participate in their communities just like everyone else.

The study tracked over 4000 Gen Xers through 20 years and found that 70% of them commit more than 40 hours a week to their jobs and 40% devote over 50 hours per week. About a third of them belong to professional or employee associations and the same number take part in religious organizations. Overall, Gen X currently has the highest level of employment of any generation.

Gen Xers have healthy, happy home lives, too. Two thirds of them are married and about 70% of them have school age children. Three quarters of those say they regularly help their kids with their homework. 90% of them participate in a recreational activity on a monthly basis. Nearly all of them keep in regular touch with family and friends and a third of them do so every day. Sounds pretty normal to me.

Finally, Gen Xers are basically happy. On average they grade themselves a 7.5 on a 10-point happiness scale. So, even if they appeared to be disaffected and disconnected as teens and young adults, they seem to have become productive and social adults much like everyone else.

Categories: Workplace