Number of Jobs, Labor Market Experience, and Earnings Growth: Results from a National Longitudinal Survey News Release

For release 10:00 a.m.  (EDT) Friday, September 10, 2010           USDL-10-1243

Technical information:  (202) 691-7410  *  nls_info@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/nls
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


            NUMBER OF JOBS HELD, LABOR MARKET ACTIVITY, AND
           EARNINGS GROWTH AMONG THE YOUNGEST BABY BOOMERS:
                  RESULTS FROM A LONGITUDINAL SURVEY


The average person born in the latter years of the baby boom held 11 jobs 
from age 18 to age 44, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the 
U.S. Department of Labor. More than three-fifths of these jobs were held 
from ages 18 to 27.

These findings are from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a 
survey of 9,964 men and women who were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed 
in 1979 and ages 43 to 52 when interviewed most recently during the 2008-09 
period. These respondents were born in the years 1957 to 1964, the latter 
years of the baby boom that occurred in the United States from 1946 to 1964. 
The survey spans 3 decades and provides information on work and nonwork ex-
periences, education, training, income and assets, health, and other charac-
teristics. The information provided by respondents, who were interviewed 
annually from 1979 to 1994 and biennially since 1994, can be considered re-
presentative of all men and women born in the late 1950s and early 1960s 
and living in the United States when the survey began in 1979.

This release of the latest data from the longitudinal survey focuses on the 
number of jobs held, job duration, labor force participation, and earnings 
growth. Highlights from the survey include:

   --Individuals born from 1957 to 1964 held an average of 11 jobs from age 
     18 to age 44. These baby boomers held an average of 4.4 jobs while ages 
     18 to 22. The average number of jobs held fell to 3.2 while ages 23 to 
     27 and to 2.6 while ages 28 to 32. These individuals held an average of 
     2.4 jobs while ages 33 to 38 and 2.0 jobs while ages 39 to 44. Jobs that 
     span more than one age group were counted once in each age group, so the 
     over-all average number of jobs held from age 18 to age 44 is less than 
     the sum of the number of jobs across the individual age groups. (See 
     table 1.)
     
   --Although job duration tends to be longer the older a worker is when start-
     ing the job, these baby boomers continued to have large numbers of short-
     duration jobs even at middle age. Among jobs started by 39- to 44-year-
     olds, 33 percent ended in less than a year, and 68 percent ended in fewer 
     than 5 years.(See table 2.)
     
   --The average person was employed during 77 percent of the weeks from age 
     18 to age 44. Generally, men spent a larger percent of weeks employed than 
     did women (84 versus 70 percent). Women spent much more time out of the 
     labor force (25 percent of weeks) than did men (11 percent of weeks). (See 
     tables 3 and 4.)
     
   --The annual percent growth in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings was fast-
     est when workers were in their late teens and early twenties. Growth rates 
     in earnings generally were higher for college graduates than for workers 
     with less education. (See table 5.)

Number of Jobs Held

Individuals held an average of 11 jobs from age 18 to age 44, with the majority 
of the jobs being held before age 27. In this report, a job is defined as an un-
interrupted period of work with a particular employer. (See the Technical Note 
for additional information on the definition of a job.)  On average, men held 
11.4 jobs and women held 10.7 jobs from age 18 to age 44. Men held 4.5 jobs 
from age 18 to age 22, compared with 2.0 jobs from age 39 to age 44. The re-
duction in the average number of jobs held in successive age groups was simi-
lar for women. (See table 1.)

On average, the least-educated men held more jobs than the most-educated men, 
while the opposite is true among women. Men without a high school diploma held 
13.3 jobs from ages 18 to 44, while men with a bachelor's degree or more edu-
cation held 11.0 jobs. Women with at least a bachelor's degree held 11.7 jobs 
from ages 18 to 44, compared to an average of 9.7 jobs for women without a 
high school diploma.

From age 18 to age 44, whites held more jobs than blacks or Hispanics or 
Latinos, although the difference is concentrated among 18- to 22-year-olds. 
On average, whites held 4.6 jobs between the ages of 18 and 22, while blacks 
held 3.5 jobs and Hispanics or Latinos held 4.0 jobs. From age 23 to age 44, 
there was no significant difference in the average number of jobs held by 
whites and the average number of jobs held by blacks or Hispanics or Latinos.

Duration of Employment Relationships

The length of time a worker remains with the same employer increases with 
the age at which the worker began the job. Of the jobs that workers began 
when they were 18 to 22 years of age, 72 percent of those jobs ended in 
less than a year and 94 percent ended in fewer than 5 years. Among jobs 
started by 39- to 44-year-olds, 33 percent ended in less than a year and 
68 percent ended in fewer than 5 years. (See table 2.)

Percent of Weeks Employed, Unemployed, and Not in the Labor Force

On average, the baby boomers represented by the survey sample were em-
ployed during 77 percent of all the weeks occurring from age 18 to age 
44. They were unemployed--that is, without jobs but seeking work--4 
percent of the weeks. They were not in the labor force--that is, nei-
ther working nor seeking work--18 percent of the weeks. (See table 3.)

The amount of time spent employed differs substantially between educa-
tional-attainment groups. Blacks with less than a high school diploma 
(as of the 2008-09 survey) spent 47 percent of weeks employed from age 
18 to age 44. By comparison, black high school graduates spent 68 per-
cent of weeks employed. Hispanic or Latino high school dropouts spent 
59 percent of weeks employed, compared with 74 percent of weeks for 
Hispanic or Latino high school graduates. White high school dropouts 
spent 64 percent of weeks employed, and white high school graduates 
spent 80 percent of weeks employed. Among those with a bachelor's de-
gree, there was little difference between racial and ethnic groups in 
labor market attachment; each group spent 80 to 82 percent of weeks em-
ployed.

The amount of time spent in the labor force also differs by sex, with
women at every educational level and at every age spending fewer weeks
either employed or unemployed than men. Men with less than a high
school diploma spent 69 percent of weeks employed from age 18 to age
44. These men also spent 9 percent of weeks unemployed. By comparison,
women with less than a high school diploma spent 46 percent of weeks 
employed and 7 percent of weeks unemployed from age 18 to age 44. Wo-
men without a high school diploma spent more time out of the labor 
force, 47 percent of weeks, than employed. The differences between men 
and women in labor force attachment were much smaller among those with 
a bachelor's degree or more education, but men still spent a larger pro-
portion of weeks employed than did women (86 versus 78 percent).

Labor force attachment varies by age for both men and women. The amount 
of time men participated in the labor force increased as they aged until 
peaking at 89 percent of weeks while ages 33 to 38. From ages 39 to 44, 
men spent slightly less time in the labor force, 87 percent of weeks. 
The amount of time women participated in the labor force increased in 
each successive age group. Women ages 18 to 22 were employed or unem-
ployed 68 percent of weeks, compared with 78 percent of weeks while ages 
39 to 44. (See table 4.)

Percent Growth in Real Earnings

The inflation-adjusted earnings of workers increased most rapidly while 
they were young. Hourly earnings grew by an average of 6.8 percent per 
year from ages 18 to 22 and by 5.2 percent per year from ages 23 to 27. 
The earnings growth rate slowed to 3.1 percent annually from age 28 to 
age 32, then increased to 3.5 percent annually from age 33 to age 38. 
From ages 39 to 44, hourly earnings grew an average of 1.4 percent per 
year. This pattern in earnings growth reflects, in part, the state of 
the U.S. economy during the years in which survey participants were in 
each age group. For men and women in nearly every age category, growth 
rates in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings generally were higher for 
workers with more education. Inflation-adjusted earnings actually de-
clined at a rate of 0.5 percent per year for 39- to 44-year-old men 
with less than a high school diploma. (See table 5.)




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained using data from the first 23 
rounds of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). This sur-
vey is conducted by the Center for Human Resource Research at The Ohio State 
University and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of 
Chicago under the direction and sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Laborís 
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
   
Sample
   
   The NLSY79 is a nationally representative sample of 12,686 young men and 
women who were 14 to 22 years of age when first surveyed in 1979. This sur-
vey sample was initially composed of three subsamples:
  
   --A cross-sectional sample of 6,111 youths that was designed to represent 
     the noninstitutionalized, civilian population of young people living in 
     the U.S. in 1979 and born between Jan. 1, 1957, and Dec. 31, 1964.

   --A supplemental sample of 5,295 youths designed to oversample noninsti-
     tutionalized, civilian black, Hispanic or Latino, and economically dis-
     advantaged nonblack, non-Hispanic youths living in the U.S. in 1979 and 
     born between Jan. 1, 1957, and Dec. 31, 1964.
  
   --A military sample of 1,280 youths born between Jan. 1, 1957, and Dec. 31, 
     1961, and enlisted in the Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps as of 
     September 30, 1978.

   In 1985, the military sample was discontinued, and, in 1991, the economic-
ally disadvantaged nonblack, non-Hispanic youths were dropped from the sup-
plemental sample. As a result, the NLSY79 sample now includes 9,964 individ-
uals from the cross-sectional sample and the black and Hispanic or Latino 
supplemental samples. (This sample size is not adjusted for sample members 
who have died.)
  
  Individuals were surveyed annually from 1979 to 1994 and biennially since 
1994. In 2008-09, 7,757 individuals responded to the survey, for a retention 
rate of 78 percent. Only these individuals are included in the estimates in 
this release. All results are weighted using the 2008-09 survey weights that 
correct for the oversampling, interview nonresponse, and permanent attrition 
from the survey. When weighted, the estimates represent all persons born in 
the years 1957 to 1964 and living in the U.S. when the survey began in 1979. 
Not represented by the survey are U.S. immigrants who were born from 1957 
to 1964 and moved to the U.S. after 1979.
   
Work history data
   
   The total number of jobs that people hold during their work life is an 
easy concept to understand but a difficult one to measure. Reliable esti-
mates require a survey that interviews the same people over the course of
their entire work life and also keeps track of all the jobs they ever held. 
The NLSY79 tracks the number of jobs that people have held, but the re-
spondents in this survey are still relatively young, ages 43 to 52 in 2008-
09, and have many years of work life ahead of them. As the cohort continues 
to age, however, more complete information will become available.
  
  A unique feature of the NLSY79 is that it collects the beginning and end-
ing dates of all jobs held by a respondent so that a longitudinal history 
can be constructed of each respondentís work experiences. The NLSY79 work 
history data provide a week-by-week work record of each respondent from 
Jan. 1, 1978, through the most recent survey date. These data contain in-
formation on the respondentís labor force status each week, the usual hours 
worked per week at all jobs, and earnings for all jobs. If a respondent 
worked at more than one job in any week, hours and earnings are obtained 
for additional jobs. When a respondent who missed one or more consecutive 
survey rounds is interviewed again, he is asked to provide information 
about all time since the last interview.

Interaction between time and age in a longitudinal survey
  
   Because the NLSY79 is a longitudinal survey, meaning the same people
are surveyed over time, the ages of the respondents change with each sur-
vey round. It is important to keep in mind this inherent link between the 
calendar years and the ages of the respondents. For example, table 5 re-
ports earnings growth from age 23 to age 27. The youngest respondents in 
the sample (birth year 1964) were these ages during 1987-91, whereas the 
oldest respondents (birth year 1957) were these ages during 1980-84.

   Although participants in the NLSY79 were ages 43 to 52 during the 2008-
09 interviews, this release covers only the period while the respondents 
were ages 18 to 44. The reason for not including older ages is that the 
sample sizes were still too small to provide statistically reliable esti-
mates for age groups older than 44. As the NLSY79 continues to be adminis-
tered and the respondents age, subsequent rounds of the survey will enable 
analyses to be conducted for older age groups.

   As with age, the educational attainment of individuals may change from 
year to year. In the tables and analysis presented in this report, educa-
tional attainment is defined as of the 2008-09 survey. This definition is 
used even when data on age and educational attainment are presented together. 
For example, table 1 reports the number of jobs held during different age 
categories. Suppose that a respondent had completed a bachelorís degree at 
age 28. That respondent would be included in the "Bachelorís degree and 
higher" educational category in all age categories shown on the table, even
though he or she did not have a bachelorís degree at any point from 
age 18 to age 27.

Definitions

   Job. A job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particu-
lar employer. Jobs are therefore employer-based, not position-based. If a 
respondent indicates that he or she left a job but in a subsequent survey 
returned to the same job, it is counted as a new job. For example, if an 
individual worked in a retail establishment during the summer, quit at the 
end of summer to return to school, and then resumed working for the same 
employer the following spring, this sequence would count as two jobs, ra-
ther than one. For self-employed workers, each "new" job is defined by the 
individuals themselves.
  
   Unemployment. If respondents indicate a gap between employers, they
are asked how many of those weeks they spent searching for employment or
on layoff. For that number of weeks, they are considered unemployed. For
the remaining weeks, they are coded as not in the labor force. No probing 
for intensity of job search is done.
   
   Usual earnings. Respondents can report earnings over any time frame
(hour, day, week, month, year). For those who do not report an hourly
wage, one is constructed using usual hours worked over that time frame.
Wages greater than $100 per hour and less than $1 per hour were not in-
cluded in the analysis of earnings growth because the reported earnings 
levels were almost certainly in error. For the same reason, individuals 
who had inflation-adjusted earnings growth greater than 100 percent were 
not included in the analysis. These exclusions from the analysis affected 
77 respondents.
   
   Race and ethnicity groups. In this release, the findings are reported
for non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics or Latinos.
These three groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race
groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not shown separately 
because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently 
large to provide statistically reliable estimates. In other BLS publica-
tions, estimates usually are published for whites, blacks, and Hispanics 
or Latinos, but these groups are not mutually exclusive. The term "His-
panic or Latino" is considered to be an ethnicity group, and Hispanics 
or Latinos can be of any race. Most other BLS publications include Hispan-
ics or Latinos in the white and black race groups in addition to the His-
panic or Latino ethnicity group.

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired 
individuals upon request. Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Ser-
vice:  (800) 877-8339.




Table 1. Number of jobs held by individuals from age 18 to age 44 in 1978-2008 by educational 
attainment, sex, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and age

                                         Average number of jobs for persons ages 18 to 44 
             Characteristic                                in 1978-2008
             
                                                  Ages 18  Ages 23  Ages 28  Ages 33  Ages 39
                                       Total (1)   to 22    to 27    to 32    to 38    to 44

Total ...................................  11.0     4.4      3.2      2.6      2.4      2.0
 Less than a high school diploma ........  11.8     4.0      3.4      2.7      2.6      1.9
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..  10.4     4.1      2.9      2.5      2.4      2.0
 Some college or associate degree .......  11.4     4.4      3.3      2.7      2.5      2.1
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......  11.3     4.9      3.5      2.6      2.3      2.0

Men .....................................  11.4     4.5      3.4      2.8      2.5      2.0
 Less than a high school diploma ........  13.3     4.6      4.0      3.0      2.7      2.1
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..  10.7     4.3      3.2      2.7      2.4      1.9
 Some college or associate degree .......  11.8     4.6      3.5      2.9      2.5      2.1
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......  11.0     4.6      3.5      2.6      2.5      2.0

Women ...................................  10.7     4.2      3.1      2.4      2.4      2.0
 Less than a high school diploma ........   9.7     3.1      2.5      2.2      2.3      1.7
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..  10.0     3.8      2.7      2.3      2.4      2.0
 Some college or associate degree .......  11.1     4.3      3.2      2.5      2.5      2.1
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......  11.7     5.2      3.6      2.6      2.2      1.9

White non-Hispanic ......................  11.1     4.6      3.3      2.6      2.4      2.0
 Less than a high school diploma ........  12.7     4.4      3.7      2.8      2.7      2.0
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..  10.4     4.2      3.0      2.5      2.3      1.9
 Some college or associate degree .......  11.4     4.6      3.4      2.7      2.5      2.0
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......  11.3     5.0      3.5      2.6      2.3      1.9

Black non-Hispanic ......................  10.7     3.5      3.1      2.7      2.5      2.1
 Less than a high school diploma ........   9.7     2.8      2.8      2.3      2.2      1.7
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..  10.3     3.3      2.9      2.7      2.6      2.0
 Some college or associate degree .......  11.5     3.9      3.2      2.8      2.7      2.3
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......  11.5     4.0      3.6      2.8      2.5      2.3

Hispanic or Latino ......................  10.7     4.0      3.0      2.5      2.4      2.1
 Less than a high school diploma ........  10.4     3.6      2.8      2.4      2.4      2.0
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..  10.4     4.0      2.9      2.4      2.3      2.0
 Some college or associate degree .......  11.4     4.2      3.1      2.7      2.4      2.3
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......  10.7     4.2      3.3      2.7      2.5      2.0

   1  Jobs that were held in more than one of the age categories were counted in each appro-
priate column, but only once in the total column.
   2  Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   3  Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral degrees.
   NOTE: This table excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978, or who had 
not yet turned age 45 when interviewed in 2008-09. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 
1979 consists of men and women who were born in the years 1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when
first interviewed in 1979. These individuals were ages 43 to 52 in 2008-09. Educational attain-
ment is defined as of the 2008-09 survey. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mu-
tually exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the overall to-
tals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is not suffi-
ciently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Table 2. Duration of employment relationships with a single employer for all jobs started from age 
18 to age 44 in 1978 - 2008 by age at start of job, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

  Age at the start of             Cumulative percent distribution of duration          Percent
job and characteristic               of completed employment relationships             of jobs
										       ongoing
                          Less than    Less than   Less than   Less than   Less than   in 2008
                           1 year       2 years     5 years     10 years    15 years   

Ages 18 to 22 ..........    71.8         84.5        93.8        96.9        97.8        1.2

  Men ..................    72.2         84.7        93.5        96.8        97.7        1.3
  Women ................    71.2         84.3        94.1        97.0        98.0        1.2

  White non-Hispanic ...    71.5         84.4        93.7        96.8        97.7        1.3
  Black non-Hispanic ...    73.9         86.1        94.7        97.7        98.4        1.0
  Hispanic or Latino ...    71.4         83.9        93.1        97.2        98.2        1.0

Ages 23 to 27 ..........    59.0         75.7        88.5        93.8        95.7        3.3

  Men ..................    58.9         75.6        87.8        93.1        95.2        3.8
  Women ................    59.1         75.8        89.2        94.5        96.3        2.6

  White non-Hispanic ...    58.1         74.9        88.0        93.5        95.5        3.4
  Black non-Hispanic ...    62.6         78.8        90.5        94.8        96.4        2.8
  Hispanic or Latino ...    61.0         77.3        89.3        94.1        96.1        3.1

Ages 28 to 32 ..........    51.4         68.1        84.3        91.3        93.8        5.7

  Men ..................    51.3         67.5        83.7        90.5        93.2        6.3
  Women ................    51.5         68.8        85.1        92.2        94.4        5.0

  White non-Hispanic ...    49.9         66.6        83.4        90.6        93.3        6.2
  Black non-Hispanic ...    57.1         74.0        88.1        93.7        95.5        4.0
  Hispanic or Latino ...    53.6         69.9        85.5        92.8        95.1        4.2

Ages 33 to 38 ..........    41.3         58.4        78.8        87.7         (1)       11.1
           
  Men ..................    40.1         57.7        77.8        86.8         (1)       11.8
  Women ................    42.4         59.1        79.8        88.6         (1)       10.4

  White non-Hispanic ...    39.7         56.7        77.5        86.9         (1)       11.9
  Black non-Hispanic ...    46.5         64.8        83.9        90.9         (1)        8.2
  Hispanic or Latino ...    43.8         60.5        80.1        88.5         (1)       10.4

Ages 39 to 44 ..........    33.5         50.9        67.6         (1)         (1)       28.5
    
  Men ..................    32.4         50.2        67.2         (1)         (1)       29.1
  Women ................    34.6         51.6        68.0         (1)         (1)       27.9

  White non-Hispanic ...    35.5         53.3        73.0         (1)         (1)       24.2
  Black non-Hispanic ...    35.5         54.1        72.3         (1)         (1)       23.8
  Hispanic or Latino ...    35.5         53.3        73.0         (1)         (1)       24.2


   1 Estimates are not presented for these categories because most sample members were not yet
old enough at the time of the 2008-09 survey to have completed jobs of these durations.
   NOTE: The age category of 18 to 22 excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women who were born in the
years 1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979. These individuals were ages
43 to 52 in 2008-09. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive but not
exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not shown separately
because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently large to provide statistically
reliable estimates.




Table 3.  Percent of weeks individuals were employed, unemployed, or not in the labor 
force from age 18 to age 44 in 1978-2008 by educational attainment, sex, race, and 
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

                                                Percent of total weeks while ages 18 to 44
         Characteristic                                        in 1978-2008
         
                                                  Employed     Unemployed     Not in 
                                                                            labor Force

Total, ages 18 to 44 in 1978-2008 ............      77.2          4.4          17.6
  Less than a high school diploma ............      59.9          8.1          30.9
  High school graduates, no college (1) ......      77.8          4.9          16.6
  Some college or associate degree ...........      79.8          4.0          15.4
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2)............      82.3          2.5          14.7

Men ..........................................      83.8          4.9          10.5
  Less than a high school diploma ............      69.4          9.3          20.1
  High school graduates, no college (1) ......      86.1          5.2           8.0
  Some college or associate degree ...........      86.7          4.2           8.3
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ...........      86.4          2.6          10.5

Women ........................................      70.3          4.0          25.0
  Less than a high school diploma ............      45.9          6.5          46.8
  High school graduates, no college (1) ......      68.9          4.6          25.8
  Some college or associate degree ...........      73.9          3.8          21.4
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ...........      78.2          2.3          18.9

White non-Hispanic ...........................      79.3          3.7          16.3
  Less than a high school diploma ............      63.9          7.4          27.6
  High school graduates, no college (1) ......      80.2          4.1          15.1
  Some college or associate degree ...........      81.1          3.2          14.8
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ...........      82.4          2.3          14.8

Black non-Hispanic ...........................      68.7          8.2          22.2
  Less than a high school diploma ............      47.2         11.5          40.6
  High school graduates, no college (1) ......      68.3          9.0          21.7
  Some college or associate degree ...........      74.7          7.3          17.2
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ...........      82.0          4.0          13.1

Hispanic  or Latino ..........................      71.9          5.4          21.8
  Less than a high school diploma ............      59.4          7.9          31.5
  High school graduates, no college (1) ......      74.4          5.2          19.6
  Some college or associate degree ...........      78.3          4.1          16.4
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ...........      79.8          2.9          16.6

   1 Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   2 Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral degrees.
   NOTE: This table excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978, or who 
had not yet turned age 45 when interviewed in 2008-09. Totals do not add to 100 percent
due to a small number of respondents whose employment status cannot be determined for all
weeks. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women who were
born in the years 1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979. These 
individuals were ages 43 to 52 in 2008-09. Educational attainment is defined as of the 
2008-09 survey. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive but not
exhaustive.  Other race groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not shown
separately because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently large to
provide statistically reliable estimates.





Table 4. Percent of weeks individuals were employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force 
from age 18 to age 44 in 1978-2008 by age, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
  
                                                                Percent of total weeks
                                                                
      Age and characteristic                                                        Not in
                                                         Employed    Unemployed   labor force

Total, ages 18 to 44 in 1978-2008 (1) ...............      77.2         4.4          17.6
  Ages 18 to 22 in 1978-1986 (2) ....................      64.5         8.8          26.3
  Ages 23 to 27 in 1980-1991 ........................      77.2         5.5          16.9
  Ages 28 to 32 in 1985-1996 ........................      79.3         3.7          16.3
  Ages 33 to 38 in 1990-2002 ........................      81.8         2.9          14.8
  Ages 39 to 44 in 1995-2008 (3) ....................      81.5         2.9          14.3

Men, ages 18 to 44 in 1978-2008 (1) .................      83.8         4.9          10.5
  Ages 18 to 22 in 1978-1986 (2) ....................      68.8         9.8          20.7
  Ages 23 to 27 in 1980-1991 ........................      84.8         6.4           8.3
  Ages 28 to 32 in 1985-1996 ........................      88.0         4.1           7.1
  Ages 33 to 38 in 1990-2002 ........................      89.3         3.0           7.1
  Ages 39 to 44 in 1995-2008 (3) ....................      87.3         3.1           8.4

Women, ages 18 to 44 in 1978-2008 (1) ...............      70.3         4.0          25.0
  Ages 18 to 22 in 1978-1986 (2) ....................      59.9         7.6          32.0
  Ages 23 to 27 in 1980-1991 ........................      69.3         4.6          25.8
  Ages 28 to 32 in 1985-1996 ........................      70.3         3.4          25.9
  Ages 33 to 38 in 1990-2002 ........................      74.1         2.7          22.8
  Ages 39 to 44 in 1995-2008 (3) ....................      75.6         2.8          20.5

White non-Hispanic, ages 18 to 44 in 1978-2008 (1) ..      79.3         3.7          16.3
  Ages 18 to 22 in 1978-1986 (2) ....................      67.3         7.7          24.5
  Ages 23 to 27 in 1980-1991 ........................      79.5         4.6          15.4
  Ages 28 to 32 in 1985-1996 ........................      81.3         3.0          15.1
  Ages 33 to 38 in 1990-2002 ........................      83.5         2.2          13.8
  Ages 39 to 44 in 1995-2008 (3) ....................      82.9         2.4          13.5

Black non-Hispanic, ages 18 to 44 in 1978-2008 (1) ..      68.7         8.2          22.2
  Ages 18 to 22 in 1978-1986 (2) ....................      51.8        14.4          33.4
  Ages 23 to 27 in 1980-1991 ........................      67.8        10.2          21.5
  Ages 28 to 32 in 1985-1996 ........................      70.8         7.5          20.8
  Ages 33 to 38 in 1990-2002 ........................      75.1         5.9          18.6 
  Ages 39 to 44 in 1995-2008 (3) ....................      75.6         5.6          17.6

Hispanic or Latino, ages 18 to 44 in 1978-2008 (1) ..      71.9         5.4          21.8
  Ages 18 to 22 in 1978-1986 (2) ....................      59.9         9.4          30.2
  Ages 23 to 27 in 1980-1991 ........................      70.7         6.3          22.4
  Ages 28 to 32 in 1985-1996 ........................      74.0         4.4          20.8
  Ages 33 to 38 in 1990-2002 ........................      77.0         3.7          18.4
  Ages 39 to 44 in 1995-2008 (3) ....................      78.4         3.7          16.2

   1 This category excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978, or who had not
yet turned age 45 when interviewed in 2008-09.
   2 This category excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978.
   3 This category excludes individuals who had not yet turned age 45 when interviewed in 2008-09.
   NOTE:  Totals do not add to 100 percent due to a small number of respondents whose employment
status cannot be determined for all weeks. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists
of men and women who were born in the years 1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed
in 1979. These individuals were ages 43 to 52 in 2008-09. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the
overall totals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is
not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Table 5. Average annual percent growth in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings from 1978-2008
by educational attainment, sex, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and age

                                            Average annual percent growth in hourly earnings

         Characteristic                        Ages 18  Ages 23  Ages 28  Ages 33  Ages 39
                                                to 22    to 27    to 32    to 38    to 44

Total .....................................     6.8      5.2      3.1      3.5     1.4
  Less than a high school diploma..........     5.1      1.8      1.9      3.1      .4
  High school graduates, no college (1) ...     5.7      3.7      2.3      3.1     1.4
  Some college or associate degree.........     7.0      4.8      3.1      3.6     1.3
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ........     8.9      8.9      4.8      4.2     1.7

Men .......................................     7.0      5.8      3.3      3.8     1.2
  Less than a high school diploma..........     4.6      2.4      1.7      3.0     -.5
  High school graduates, no college (1)....     7.0      4.2      2.1      3.0     1.2
  Some college or associate degree.........     7.4      5.7      3.3      3.8     1.5
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ........     7.9     10.0      5.6      5.2     1.8

Women .....................................     6.7      4.5      3.0      3.2     1.5
  Less than a high school diploma..........     6.1       .6      2.3      3.2     1.8
  High school graduates, no college (1) ...     4.2      3.0      2.5      3.1     1.7
  Some college or associate degree.........     6.6      4.0      2.9      3.4     1.1
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ........     9.8      7.8      4.0      3.1     1.6

White non-Hispanic ........................     7.1      5.4      3.2      3.5     1.4
  Less than a high school diploma .........     5.7      1.7      1.9      3.4      .4
  High school graduates, no college (1) ...     5.8      3.6      2.3      3.1     1.6
  Some college or associate degree.........     7.3      5.0      3.1      3.5     1.2
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ........     9.0      9.0      4.8      4.1     1.6

Black non-Hispanic ........................     5.3      4.6      3.0      3.3      .9
  Less than a high school diploma..........     3.9      2.0      2.9      2.2     -.3
  High school graduates, no college  (1) ..     4.7      4.1      2.5      3.3      .4
  Some college or associate degree.........     5.1      4.2      3.1      3.2     1.6
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ........     8.3      8.2      4.3      4.6     2.2

Hispanic or Latino.........................     6.6      3.9      2.3      3.2     2.2
  Less than a high school diploma .........     3.8      3.0       .5      2.9     1.1
  High school graduates, no college (1) ...     7.0      3.3      2.0      2.0     2.0
  Some college or associate degree.........     8.0      3.8      3.1      4.2     1.7
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ........     7.8      6.9      4.4      4.4     5.4


   1  Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   2  Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral degrees.
   NOTE: The first column excludes individuals who turned age 18 before 1978. The last
column excludes individuals who were not yet age 45 when interviewed in 2008-09.
The CPI-U-RS was used to adjust hourly earnings to 2008 dollars, prior to calculating 
the growth rates. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women
who were born in the years 1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979.
These individuals were ages 43 to 52 in 2008-09. Educational attainment is defined as of
the 2008-09 survey. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive
but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not
shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently
large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Last Modified Date: September 10, 2010