by Michael J. Shapiro | August 18, 2017
Employees between the ages of 36 and 65 spend an average of 66 percent more than their Millennial colleagues on dining, entertainment and hotel business expenses, according to an analysis by expense-reporting giant Concur. The report looked at $36 billion in such expenses processed via Concur Technologies between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2017. Concur delineated the generations as ages 22-35 (Millennials), 36-49 (Gen X) and 50-56 (Baby Boomers).
Over the nine quarters analyzed, the expenses per Gen X and Baby Boomer employee averaged $8,596, vs. $5,188 per Millennial employee. The two older generations actually accounted for 80 percent of the spend analyzed, even though, according to Pew Research, Millennials now make up the largest share of employees in the U.S. workforce. (One might hypothesize, however, that there are a greater number of senior-level employees - and a greater number of travelers - in the higher age brackets.)
When breaking the numbers down by expense type, the differences are not quite so significant. Millennials spent 18 percent less than their more senior colleagues on dining and entertainment (approximately $44 per transaction vs. $52) and $6 less per meal while traveling ($33 vs. $39). Interestingly, Millennials spent 3 percent more on hotel expenses (including room, parking, WiFi and room service) than their senior colleagues, averaging $114 per transaction vs. $111 for the older generations.
On the average, Millennials have spent less than their senior colleagues across different industries and countries. Certain industries spend more across the board, regardless of age: Financial-services employees spent 22 percent more overall than other industries, and public-service employees spent 19 percent more.
Concur recommends looking at evolving spending patterns across generations as one factor in determining travel and expense policies.