Women staying longer, men shorter Market view from the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI)
WASHINGTON—American workers are continuing to stay a bit longer in their jobs, according to new data from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
The overall median tenure of workers—the midpoint of wage and salary workers’ length of employment in their current jobs—was slightly higher in 2014, at 5.5 years, compared with 5.0 years in 1983. As earlier EBRI analysis has found, this is due to women staying on the job longer, while job tenure for men is shrinking.
Specifically, the median tenure for male wage and salary workers was lower in 2014 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 2014.
A high tenure trend
“That means the increase in the median tenure of female workers more than offset the decline in the median tenure of male workers, leaving the overall level slightly higher,” said Craig Copeland, EBRI senior research associate and author of the report. “The high tenure trend is being driven by women.” Copeland also noted that 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.
The full report, “Employee Tenure Trends, 1983–2014,” is published in the February 2015 EBRI Notes, online at www.ebri.org
The Employee Benefit Research Institute is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute based in Washington, DC, that focuses on health, savings, retirement, and economic security issues. EBRI does not lobby and does not take policy positions. The work of EBRI is made possible by funding from its members and sponsors, which include a broad range of public, private, for-profit and nonprofit organizations. For more information go to www.ebri.org or www.asec.org