Personal Finance: Millennials At Work

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Michelle Singletary
Thursday, April 15, 2010; 8:35 AM

I was intrigued by a recent Pew Research Center study that found millennials, people between the age of 18 and 29, have less of a strong work ethic compared to older generations.

The Post's Ian Shapira writes that the report found that millenials most frequently defined themselves by technology use and music/pop culture. Only 5 percent noted their generation's work ethic-- the same percentage who chose "clothes."

Baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and Generation Xers (people born between 1965 and 1980) say they have a better work ethic than those in their 20s. And the millennial survey respondents agreed.

"It might be tempting to dismiss these findings as a typical older adult gripe about 'kids today.' But when it comes to each of these traits -- work ethic, moral values, respect for others -- young adults agree that older adults have the better of it," write Pew researchers the report.

Still, I wonder if this generalization is a fair representation of millennials? The Pew report also says "millennials (like older adults) place parenthood and marriage far above career and financial success."

Tell me what you think of the millennials you work with or whom work for you. Or if you are a millenial, do the Pew findings represent your attitude about work? But first read Shapira's article and then the Pew report. Then answer the Color of Money Question of the Week: From your own experience, do millenials work hard? Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line put "Millennials At Work."

Let's Talk Taxes

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This is a text-only chat, much like instant messaging. Your web browser will automatically update with the freshest questions and answers.

If you are unable to join me live, send your question early or read the transcript later.

Tax Free

Tax credits and deductions are paying off for a lot of people.


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