Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Younger baby boomers and number of jobs held

| June 2016

How many jobs have you had since you turned 18? If you’re a baby boomer born between 1957 and 1964, the answer might be close to 12.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) National Longitudinal Survey show small differences in the average number of jobs held by men and women who were ages 18–48, born toward the end of the baby boom (the baby boom includes those born from 1946 to 1964). But greater differences emerge by education level and age. To see these data in the chart, click on the bar for men or women.

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Number of jobs held by people born between 1957 and 1964 who were ages 18–48 in 1978–2012, by gender, educational attainment, and age
  Total (1) Ages 18 to 24 Ages 25 to 29 Ages 30 to 34 Ages 35 to 39 Ages 40 to 48

Total

11.7 5.5 3 2.4 2.1 2.4

Less than a high school diploma

11.5 5 2.9 2.4 2 2.1

High school graduates, no college (2)

11.2 5.1 2.8 2.4 2.1 2.3

Some college or associate degree

12.3 5.8 3.1 2.5 2.1 2.5

Bachelor's degree and higher (3)

11.8 6.1 3 2.4 2.1 2.3

 

 

Men

11.8 5.7 3.1 2.5 2.1 2.4

Less than a high school diploma

12.9 5.7 3.5 2.6 2.1 2.5

High school graduates, no college (2)

11.7 5.5 3.1 2.6 2.1 2.3

Some college or associate degree

12.4 6 3.2 2.7 2.1 2.5

Bachelor's degree and higher (3)

11.2 5.8 2.8 2.4 2.2 2.3

 

 

Women

11.5 5.3 2.8 2.3 2.1 2.4

Less than a high school diploma

9.6 4 2.2 2.1 1.9 1.7

High school graduates, no college (2)

10.7 4.6 2.5 2.2 2.1 2.3

Some college or associate degree

12.3 5.6 3 2.4 2.2 2.6

Bachelor's degree and higher (3)

12.5 6.4 3.2 2.3 2 2.4

1 Jobs that were held in more than one of the age categories were counted in each appropriate column, but only once in the total column.

2 Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.

3 Includes persons with a 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 49 when interviewed in 2012-13. 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 47 to 56 in 2012-13. Educational attainment is defined as of the 2012-13 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.

As the data show, men with less education than a high school diploma held the most jobs, on average, of all respondents: 12.9. In contrast, women without a diploma had the fewest, 9.6. Men and women who have some college or an associate’s degree held about the same number: 12.4 and 12.3, respectively.

The data by age show the average number of jobs for people in each age group by education level. At all levels, men and women had the most jobs before age 25. This result may be because younger workers were still exploring different career paths.

These data are from the BLS National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. This survey follows labor market activity and other significant life events of men and women born between 1957 and 1964.

About the Author

Domingo Angeles is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. He can be reached at (202) 691-5475 or angeles.domingo@bls.gov .

Suggested citation:

Domingo Angeles, "Younger baby boomers and number of jobs held ," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 2016.

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/careeroutlook Contact Career Outlook

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