Study: people aged 18-34 aren't actually job-hopping

millennials working in the office
Photo credit Getty Images

Job tenure rates among young American workers are similar to those recorded in the past four decades.

According to new data from the Pew Research Center, 44% of workers between the ages 18 and 34 reported in January that they had worked for their current employer for at least three years.

That total has remained steady since 1983.

This has economic implications, as workers who stay with employers longer tend to have increased earnings.

The findings follow previous reports detailing the job-hopping habits of Millennial and Gen Z workers and the Great Resignation spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the research, voluntary quitting did increase substantially in 2021 -- the Great Resignation -- but the spike in quitting may have been offset by employers trying to hold onto workers in a tight labor market by not laying off or firing them, resulting in little overall change in how long the typical young worker has been on the job.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median 25- to 34-year-old worker had been with their employer 2.8 years in 2022, unchanged from 2020. In 1983 the median tenure of this group was 3.0 years," the study noted.

On the flip side, the research shows that 40% of today's young workers have been with their employer 12 months or less, which again is similar to job tenure patterns among young workers in earlier years.

Even though young workers have similar job tenures as years past, type of work that they do has changed.

"Compared with the 1980s, today's young workforce has more people working in management and professional occupations – a group that tends to stay with their employer longer," the study says.

In 2022, 32% of young workers are in management, professional or related occupations, up from 21% in 1983. In 2022, 51% of young managers and professionals have worked for their employer three years or more – higher than the share among young workers overall (44%), according to the research.

The study also shows a change in demographics. Hispanics have more than tripled their ranks among young workers since 1983, rising from 6% to 22% of the total. Women also have increased their share among young workers since the 1980s, accounting for 49% of young employees today, up from 47% in 1983.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images