Baby Boomers Experience High Job Turnover

By McLeod Brown - Apr. 18, 2018

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In just a few short weeks, thousands of new college graduates around the country will wake up the morning after their celebrations and be faced with a daunting, yet hopeful question – now what?

Well, person who has suddenly been thrown into the obstacle course that is navigating your 20s and life in general, you can expect some job turnover in your future.

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that individuals born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-1964) held an average of almost 12 jobs from the ages of 18 to 50, with nearly half of those jobs held between 18 and 24.

Summary of findings

  • Those born between 1957 and 1964 held an average of 11.9 jobs from ages 18 to 50
    • They held 5.5 jobs between ages 18 to 24 and 4.5 jobs between ages 25 to 34
  • Of the jobs that workers began when they were 18 to 24 years old, 69 percent of those jobs ended in less than a year and 93 percent ended in fewer than 5 years
  • Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher held an average of 6.2 jobs between the ages of 18 and 24
  • Men (12.1) held a higher number of jobs than women (11.6)
  • Those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (12) held more jobs than those without a high school diploma (11.5)

How we did it

Analyzing the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent study on the National Longitudinal Survey of the Youth 1979, we wanted to focus on the amount of job transitions the average person experiences at different points in their life.

The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 is a survey of 9,964 men and women who were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979 and ages 49 to 58 when interviewed most recently in 2014-15.

More info

  • In total, blacks held less jobs than whites or hispanics or latinos
    • However, blacks with bachelor’s degrees or higher held the most jobs among the three
  • Women aged 18 to 24 with bachelor’s degrees or higher experienced the most job turnover, holding 6.5 jobs on average
  • Over half of the jobs held between the ages of 25 and 34 ended in less than one year, with 70 percent ending in less than two years
  • Average annual percent growth in hourly earnings declined in with each age grouping
    • Men experienced higher wage gains than women for ages 18 to 34, before the roles were reversed for ages 35 to 50
  • Whites experienced the highest wage gains for ages 18 to 44

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McLeod Brown

McLeod Brown is a former writer and researcher for the Zippia Career Advice blog. His work at Zippia focused on understanding the relationship between colleges, debt, and jobs. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a BA in Business Administrator, he is now pursuing a masters of science in analytics from the Institute of Advanced Analytics.

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Topics: Study