Albertans under 55 feel their generation worse off compared to parents’ generation: ATB research

By ATB Financial 26 July 2019 3 min read

Calgary—The latest research from ATB Financial suggests most Albertans—with the exception of Baby Boomers—feel their generation is worse off than that of their parents.

A survey conducted for the latest edition of ATB’s Perch found only 24 per cent of Baby Boomer respondents feel their generation is worse off than their parents’ generation compared to 61 per cent of Gen-Xers who feel this way.

“We sometimes get carried away with generational stereotypes, but it is useful to know how different generations tend to view the world, including the economy and the workplace,” said Rob Roach, author of the Perch study and Director of Insight at ATB Financial. “This knowledge helps us understand where the differences lie between the age groups, how they relate to one another and how prevailing attitudes and behaviours might change over time. It’s information that is invaluable for anyone working to strengthen the Alberta economy.”

The Perch survey also found that 65 per cent of respondents under the age of 55 are worried they won’t have enough money when they retire. The percentage is lower among Boomers, but almost half—48 per cent—said they worry about not having enough money for retirement.

For all the generational differences, ATB’s survey found some common ground.

“A majority of respondents across all four generations said they feel money is important to their happiness. Millennials lead the pack with 72 per cent feeling this way, but the Boomers are not too far behind at 62 per cent,” said Roach. “Still, about two-thirds of each generation also said they value a fulfilling job over a high-paying one.”

Respondents across all age groups were also clearly in favour of flexible work hours and all preferred working at a single job for an extended period of time over the idea of working a series of “gigs.”

Other highlights of this edition of Perch include:

Boomers stood out with 88 per cent of respondents agreeing that their generation has a strong work ethic. Gen Z was not far behind at 78 per cent of respondents compared to just 48 per cent among Gen X and 50 per cent among Gen Y.
A majority of Albertans surveyed agreed free trade is good for the Canadian economy. Boomers were most likely to agree at 79 per cent while Gen-Xers were least likely at 61 per cent.
When it comes to the economy and the workplace, using technology to communicate differs between the different generations as well. Talking to people in person or over the phone rather than sending a text or email was preferred by a larger proportion of Boomers (58 per cent) with Millennial respondents least likely to prefer this option (45 per cent).
Between 80 and 85 per cent of respondents surveyed across the four generations said they were in favour of flexible work hours and agreed flexibility makes the workplace more productive.
ATB’s survey was conducted by AskingCanadians using its online research community between February 25, 2019 and March 28, 2019. A total of 1,802 surveys were completed by Albertans over 18 years of age. The results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

For the complete ATB Perch report, click here.

For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Karin Poldaas
Communications Director
ATB Financial

About ATB Financial
With $54.3 billion in assets, ATB Financial is an Alberta-built financial institution. But don't let that fool you—we're so much more than a bank. We got started in 1938 to help Albertans through tough economic times, and today we have 174 branches, 143 agencies, a Client Care Centre, four entrepreneur centres, and mobile and online banking. And did you know we're fast becoming the digital bank and the bank for entrepreneurs? We're already the place to work for our more than 5,500 team members who love to serve close to 770,000 customers in 247 Alberta communities. To find out more, visit us at

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