Employee Tenure Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, September 18, 2014                   USDL-14-1714

Technical information: (202) 691-6378    cpsinfo@bls.gov    www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902    PressOffice@bls.gov


                                  EMPLOYEE TENURE IN 2014


The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current
employer was 4.6 years in January 2014, unchanged from January 2012, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today.

Information on employee tenure has been obtained from supplemental questions in the
Current Population Survey (CPS) every 2 years since 1996. These data are collected
as part of the Displaced Worker Supplement, which is sponsored by the Employment
and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. The CPS is a monthly
sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides information on the labor
force status of the civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over. The
questions about employee tenure measure how long workers had been with their
current employer at the time of the survey. A number of factors can affect median
tenure of workers, including changes in the age profile among workers, as well as
changes in the number of hires and separations. For further information about the
CPS, see the Technical Note.

Demographic Characteristics

In January 2014, median employee tenure (the point at which half of all workers
had more tenure and half had less tenure) for men was 4.7 years, unchanged from
January 2012. For women, median tenure in January 2014 was 4.5 years, about
unchanged from January 2012. Among men, 30 percent of wage and salary workers had
10 years or more of tenure with their current employer, compared with 28 percent
for women. (See tables 1 and 3.)

Median employee tenure was generally higher among older workers than younger ones.
For example, the median tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 (10.4 years) was more than
three times that of workers ages 25 to 34 years (3.0 years). A larger proportion of
older workers than younger workers had 10 years or more of tenure. Among workers
ages 60 to 64, 58 percent were employed for at least 10 years with their current
employer in January 2014, compared with only 12 percent of those ages 30 to 34.
(See tables 1 and 2.)

Among the major race and ethnicity groups, 21 percent of Hispanics had been with their
current employer for 10 years or more in January 2014, compared with 30 percent of
whites and 25 percent of both blacks and Asians. (See table 3.) The shorter tenure
among Hispanic workers can be explained, in part, by their relative youth. Forty-four
percent of Hispanic workers were between the ages of 16 and 34; by comparison, the
proportions for whites (35 percent), blacks (38 percent), and Asians (34 percent) were
smaller.

The share of wage and salary workers with a year or less of tenure with their current
employer was 21 percent in January 2014, unchanged from the proportion in January 2012.
This short-tenured group includes new entrants and reentrants to the workforce, job
losers who found new jobs during the previous year, and workers who had voluntarily
changed employers during the year. Younger workers were more likely than older workers
to be short-tenured employees. For example, in January 2014, 72 percent of 16- to
19-year-olds had tenure of 12 months or less with their current employer, compared with
9 percent of workers ages 55 to 64. (See table 3.)

Within most age groups, men and women with less than a high school diploma had lower
median tenure in January 2014 than those with more education. (See table 4.)

Industry

In January 2014, wage and salary workers in the public sector had nearly double the
median tenure of private sector employees, 7.8 years versus 4.1 years. One factor
behind this difference is age. About three in four government workers were age 35
and over, compared with about three in five private wage and salary workers. Federal
employees had a higher median tenure (8.5 years) than state (7.4 years) or local
government (7.9 years) employees. (See table 5.)

Within the private sector, workers in manufacturing had the highest tenure among
major industries, at 5.9 years in January 2014. In contrast, workers in leisure and
hospitality had the lowest median tenure (2.3 years). These differences in tenure
reflect many factors, one of which is varying age distributions across industries;
on average, workers in manufacturing tend to be older than those in leisure and
hospitality.

Occupation

Among the major occupations, workers in management, professional, and related
occupations had the highest median tenure (5.7 years) in January 2014. Within this
group, employees had the longest tenure in the following occupations: management 
(6.9 years), architecture and engineering (6.4 years), and education, training, and
library (6.2 years). Workers in service occupations, who are generally younger than
persons employed in management, professional, and related occupations, had the lowest
median tenure (3.3 years).  Among employees working in service occupations, food
preparation workers had the lowest median tenure, at 2.2 years. (See table 6.)



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Last Modified Date: September 18, 2014