The recent newsflash is that GM is planning to layoff 14,000 US workers. Is this capitalism at its finest? Could it be a sign of uncertainty in the economy? Is this disruption in workforce trends somehow connected to generational differences?
The safest answer may be to consider that all the above apply.
There are plenty of news articles and video clips addressing the speculation about why. So far, I haven’t seen any material connected to workforce trends shifting because of the more recent generations.
What Is the Question?
My initial question is simple: Have US car sales been flattening or perhaps declining?
Ask a marketing or demographic expert involved in the automobile industry and they may confirm or deny.
I believe there may be a linkage to our generational differences. Many traditionals, the baby boomers, and even generation X, lived largely on the premise that coming of age meant getting a car.
Want to know the framework for the generations? See the chart.
Today, for the youngest millennials and the generation Z crowd, it may not be the same.
Rural vs Urban Desires
Rural USA has parents wondering why their children grow up and want to leave small town USA.
As a kid, I aspired to cut the lawn, trim trees and bushes, and one day buy a car and a house. That was the dream.
Today, as many millennials leave small town USA and head to major metropolitan areas, they don’t care about the pride of cutting the lawn or raking the leaves. They don’t want to know the basics in home repair or how to change the oil in their car.
Many of them do not want any of that stuff.
Partly perhaps, because it slows them down, puts them in higher debt, and makes their living arrangements less flexible.
Is the American Dream changing? Is it shifting workforce trends?
What are the forces applying pressure to see GM cut 14,000 jobs?
Is it just another day in corporate America capitalism? A decline in the interest for certain types of automobiles?
Is it a signpost of the differences in values and beliefs across the generations that will ultimately shift the job market?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.