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Sponsored content powered by ICMA strategic partner, MissionSquare Retirement.

One of the key challenges facing local governments is recruiting and retaining the next generation of employees. To better inform those agencies’ efforts, MissionSquare Research Institute has been gathering data on the attitudes of public sector employees 35 and under, as well as analyzing the resulting data by key demographics.

The new Issue Brief: 35 and Under in the Public Sector – Comparisons by Race and Ethnicity makes clear that workforce motivations and concerns are not the same across all groups. For example:

  • African American employees were four times more likely to have worked prior contractual or gig work than in the public sector than White or Hispanic employees.
  • Thirty-five percent of African American employees reported also being paid for a second job, compared to 25% of white employees and 19% of Hispanic employees.
  • White employees were twice as likely to indicate they were attracted to the public sector due to the personal satisfaction the job gives them, while African American and Hispanic employees were more likely to indicate the top factor was salary.


MSQ U35 Data

The study goes on to explore employees’ understanding of various benefits and retirement issues, with a higher percentage of African Americans reporting that they understand those issues very or somewhat well. Nevertheless, African Americans were also most likely to say that they either don’t have access to a good retirement plan or don’t know if they will remain with their employer long enough to make retirement savings worth it.

Satisfaction with their workplace, willingness to recommend the public sector to friends or family, and reasons employees might be considering changing jobs also vary by race and ethnicity. Reviewing this or related data can help your government improve communication on recruitment appeals, employee engagement, and benefits offerings.

For more details, check out the full issue brief as well as the general findings in 35 and Under in the Public Sector: Why Younger Workers Enter and Why They Stay (or Don't)

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