(Bloomberg) -- Younger employees are reporting more struggles at work while older colleagues are doing better, according to a recent study.

Only 31% of workers younger than 35 said they were thriving at work last year, according to a new annual report on the global workforce from Gallup Inc. That’s down from 35% the previous year, the data show. In contrast, 36% of workers 35 and older said they’re thriving, an increase of 1 percentage point from the previous year. The 5 percentage-point gap between the age groups is the biggest since at least 2009.

“We’ve seen increases in negative emotions globally for young people, including loneliness,” said Jim Harter, chief scientist of workplace management and wellbeing at Gallup. “Young remote workers report more loneliness. They are starting to feel more distant from their employers"

The report noted that older leaders “may not see the present and the future in the same way as their youngest employees.” 

In the study, Gallup asked more than 100,000 workers around the world whether they feel like they’re thriving in the workplace. The data was collected between April 2023 and March 2024. 

Disgruntled employees cost US companies an estimated $1.9 trillion in lost productivity last year, according to previous research from Gallup that puts a price tag on workplace unhappiness.

(Adds quote on why young employees are struggling.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.