Job Hopping

Once upon a time, employees went to work for a company and stayed there, sometimes for life. It wasn’t unusual for a person to retire after forty or fifty years with a single employer. Stability was an important attribute.

Times have changed. Many employers now readily accept “job hoppers” as a new breed of flexible employees. That may be one reason why one-quarter of all employees have worked at their current job for less than one year. Still, the median number of years the average American worker has been with their current employer is 3.5 years. Other interesting employment facts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics include:

  • In the past, men have tended to have longer job tenures, but the gender gap is narrowing. Men now stay with the same employer an average of 3.8 years, while women stay in the same job 3.3 years.
  • Age is a factor in employment tenure. Workers 45-54 years old worked for the same employer three times longer than those ages 25-34. More than half of all 20-24 year olds had been with their employer less than 12 months.
  • Managers and professionals have the highest tenure rate, an average of 4.8 years. The least stable segment was food service workers, with an average of just 1.5 years at the same job.
  • Public employees stay at their government jobs more than twice as long as employees of private sector companies.