Saudi Millennials are more optimistic about the future compared to global average of peers, Deloitte research reveals

Sunday 26 May 2019
Riyadh - MENA Herald:

Deloitte, a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services, announced today the launch of its 2019 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey. The eighth annual study found that, despite global economic growth, expansion and opportunity, younger generations are wary about the world and their place in it. But they remain hopeful and have strong values as both consumers and employees.  

The latest edition of the report is based on the views of over 13,000 Millennials spread across 42 countries and includes responses from 3,009 Gen Z respondents in 10 countries. For the first time, Deloitte’s study also surveyed Saudi Arabian Millennials, conducting 301 interviews to provide a glimpse into regional attitudes and ambitions across business, society, media and Industry 4.0.

“Millennials make up over a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s population and are playing a hugely significant role in the nation’s socioeconomic development,” says Omar Fahoum, CEO, Deloitte Middle East. “Our survey demonstrates that Saudi Arabian Millennials are far more bullish about the economic outlook for their own country than global peers, hold a more positive perception of business, and possess the skills and knowledge to find success in Industry 4.0 roles. Such findings represent positive indicators for Saudi Arabia’s private sector and the government’s economic development goals.”

“From the economic recession a decade ago to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Millennials and Gen Zs have grown up in a unique moment in time impacting connectivity, trust, privacy, social mobility and work,” says Fahoum. “This uncertainty is reflected in their personal views on business, government, leadership and the need for positive societal change agents. As business leaders, we must continue to embrace the issues resonating most with these two generations, or risk losing out on talent in an increasingly competitive market.”

As global economic optimism wavers, Saudi Arabian Millennials more hopeful

Internationally, respondents’ anticipation for economic improvement dipped to the lowest level in six years. Only 26 percent of respondents expect economic conditions in their countries to rally in the coming year, down from 45 percent a year ago.

“On average, the Millennial generation in Saudi Arabia is more satisfied with their life today compared to the global average, with 34 percent of Saudi responding positively compared to only 29 percent globally,” said Mazen Pharaon, Consulting Partner, Deloitte Digital Center (DDC) Leader in Riyadh. “The younger generation in Saudi Arabia is also more ambitious about their career and entrepreneurship opportunities. Fifty-two percent of Saudi Millennials have ambitions to reach a senior level in their chosen career paths, compared to 34 percent globally.”

“Deloitte is creating a first-of-its-kind Digital Delivery Center in Riyadh which aims to support digital initiatives by businesses and the public sector in Saudi Arabia, creating employment opportunities for hundreds of Saudi nationals to serve the wider Middle East market,” added Pharaon.

In addition, 58 percent of Saudi youth have ambitions to start their own business, while globally only 38 percent have the same goal. Saudi youth also have high self-expectations, as 68 percent believe that that their ambition to launch their own business is achievable, while 70 percent expect that they will reach a senior level in their chosen career path.

Saudi Arabian Millennials more optimistic than global counterparts

As part of Deloitte’s ongoing research on Millennials, and now Gen Z, Deloitte is also unveiling a new tool called the “MillZ Mood Monitor,” which will track respondents’ year-over-year optimism about key political, personal, environmental and socioeconomic topics. Scores are based on responses related to economic, social/political, personal, environmental and business sentiments.

In the inaugural Mood Monitor, out of a total of 100, global Millennials posted a score of 39; Gen Z scored 40. Saudi Arabian Millennials scored 51, significantly higher than their global counterparts. Scores were boosted by generally positive feelings regarding business and the environment. Despite a large drop-off the past couple of years, 55 percent of Millennials around the world still believe business is having a positive impact on society.

Contributions of business appreciated by Saudi Millennials while gig economy seen as opportunity

Millennials’ opinions about business continue to diminish internationally, as 55 percent of respondents said business has a positive impact on society, down from 61 percent in 2018. The decrease was driven, in part, by views that businesses focus solely on their own agendas rather than considering the consequences for society.

Results from the Saudi market reveal that local Millennials generally have more positive views about businesses, with 65 percent of respondents expressing a general belief that companies have a positive impact on the wider society in which they operate.

Globally, Millennials portrayed positive attitudes towards the role of technology in the labor market with 84 percent of Millennials expressing an interest in joining the gig economy. Saudi Millennials’ attitude is even more positive towards the flexi-working models of the gig economy. Survey results show that 94 percent of Saudi Millennials would consider joining the gig economy.

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