Millennials now outnumber their immediate predecessors, Generation X, as the largest segment of the American workforce, according to the Pew Research Center.
The transition occurred during the first quarter of 2015, as Millennials in the labor force grew to 53.5 million, surpassing the 52.7 million Gen Xers. Rapidly retiring Baby Boomers dropped to 44.6 million workers, Pew reported in May.
The Millennial workforce is “highly likely” to grow in the near future as educated immigrants in their 20s arrive in the country and current college students begin looking for jobs.
The Pew findings shouldn’t come as a surprise: The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Millennials have now overtaken Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation.
The impact of Millennials is already being felt in the workplace. A strong majority of these young workers are pushing their employers to think about people at least as much as about profits and products, according to the fourth annual Millennial Survey.
Released in January 2015 by auditing and consulting giant Deloitte Global, the survey found that most Millennials want a workplace that caters to their personal development and has a “sense of purpose.”
Among other survey findings: just 28% of Millennials said their skills are being put to full use by their bosses; and 43% said they will need to find a new job in order to advance their career.
An estimated 75.3 million U.S. residents are considered Millennials. They were born during the presidential administrations of Ronald Reagan through Bill Clinton and are age 18 to 34 as of this year.
Post-World War II Boomers, who were born during the presidencies of Harry Truman through Lyndon B. Johnson, are now age 51 to 69. Their nationwide total has dropped to 74.9 million.
There are an estimated 66 million Gen Xers, who are currently age 35 to 50. This demographic group is not projected to outnumber Boomers in the U.S. population until 2028.
Generation X’s short reign as the largest share of the workforce began in 2012, when it surpassed the Boomer generation, which had dominated U.S. payrolls since at least 1995.
The 29 million members of the so-called Silent Generation were born during the era that began just before the 1929 stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression and lasted through the Allied victory over Germany and Japan in World War II.
These older Americans now represent just 2% of the workforce, the Pew Research Center reported.