Employee Tenure Trends, 1983-2012

Source: Craig Copeland, Employee Benefit Research Institute, EBRI Notes, Vol. 33, No. 12, December 2012

From the summary:
– The most recent U.S. Census Bureau data show that the overall median tenure of workers–the midpoint of wage and salary workers’ length of employment in their current jobs–was slightly higher in 2012, at 5.4 years, compared with 5.0 years in 1983.
– However, the median tenure for male wage and salary workers was lower in 2012 at 5.5 years, compared with 5.9 years in 1983. In contrast, the median tenure for female wage and salary workers increased from 4.2 years in 1983 to 5.4 years in 2012. Consequently, the increase in the median tenure of female workers more than offsets the decline in the median tenure of male workers, leaving the overall level slightly higher.
– The data on employee tenure–the amount of time an individual has been with his or her current employer–show that career jobs never existed for most workers and have continued not to exist for most workers. These tenure results indicate that, historically, most workers have repeatedly changed jobs during their working careers, and all evidence suggests that they will continue to do so in the future.

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