This post is based on information from the book “The Talent Equation,” co-written by CareerBuilder’s CEO Matt Ferguson. Find more interesting stats here.
Possibly contrary to what you *may* have thought, the average employee tenure has actually gone UP by one year over the past three decades. TWEET THIS
Until the 2001 recession, average tenure had remained fairly stable. Employees stayed at their firms for about 3.5 years or slightly longer before moving to a new job. For instance, tenure in 2002 was only two-tenths of a year longer than it was in 1983. But in the 10 years from 2002 to 2012, the national average rose by about one year. The climb continued throughout the 2007 recession. Average tenure was 4 years in 2004 and 2006. By 2010, it had jumped to 4.4, and by 2012 to 4.6. -The Talent Equation
Why? What Does This Mean?
Let’s start by stating up front that there’s no simple answer, and it’s difficult to single out one cause for this trend.
Sorry, Barney, but the U.S. economy is a bit complex. We won’t leave you hanging, though — here are a few contributors to this trend.
Part of it is simply demographic. The U.S. workforce is aging, which naturally pushes the average up. But the state of the economy plays a major role as well. In weak labor markets, voluntary turnover rates start to fall, meaning that workers’ confidence about their employment prospects elsewhere shrink in the face of economic reality. We can call it the “greener pastures” test: If the landscape isn’t promising, don’t pack your desk. -The Talent Equation
Want to know how the numbers break down by older versus younger generations? See the below graphic with the average employee tenure by two different age groups: individuals ages 25-34 versus those 65 and older.
You notice how this graphic — based on 2012 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — shows that younger workers have always had shorter tenures. Tenure rates for individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 have remained steady at approximately three years over the past three decades. TWEET THIS
The recruiting world’s opinion of the job hopper is evolving. Here’s what you need to know about today’s job hoppers.
You may also enjoy reading our other posts in this series:
- Psst … Want to Know About the Future of the Shifting U.S. Labor Market?
- Dude, Where’s Your College Degree? How Education Is Impacting Employment.
Want more information? “The Talent Equation” can help you make sense of it and propel your business forward. You can download a sample chapter here.
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