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

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, August 22, 2019  	              USDL-19-1520 
 
Technical information:  (202) 691-7410  *  nls_info@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/nls
Media contact: 	        (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov 
 
 
           NUMBER OF JOBS, LABOR MARKET EXPERIENCE, AND EARNINGS GROWTH:
                  RESULTS FROM A NATIONAL LONGITUDINAL SURVEY


Individuals born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-64) held an average of
12.3 jobs from ages 18 to 52, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nearly half of these jobs were held from ages 18 to 24. 
 
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 51 to 60 when interviewed most recently in 2016-17. 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 37 years and provides
information on work and nonwork experiences, education, training, income and
assets, health, and other characteristics. The information provided by respondents,
who were interviewed annually from 1979 to 1994 and biennially since 1994, can be
considered representative 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 12.3 jobs from ages
     18 to 52. These baby boomers held an average of 5.7 jobs while ages 18 to
     24. The average fell to 4.5 jobs from ages 25 to 34, to 2.9 jobs from ages
     35 to 44, and to 1.9 jobs from ages 45 to 52. Jobs that span more than one
     age group were counted once in each age group, so the overall average number
     of jobs held from ages 18 to 52 is less than the sum of the number of jobs
     across the individual age groups. (See table 1.) 
 
   --Although job duration tended to be longer the older a worker was when starting
     the job, these baby boomers continued to have large numbers of short-duration
     jobs. Among jobs started by 35 to 44 year olds, 36 percent ended in less than
     a year, and 75 percent ended in fewer than 5 years. (See table 2.) 

   --On average, individuals were employed during 78 percent of the weeks from ages
     18 to 52. Generally, men spent a larger percent of weeks employed than did
     women (84 percent versus 72 percent). Women spent much more time out of the
     labor force (24 percent of weeks) than did men (11 percent of weeks). (See
     table 3.)

   --The average annual percent growth in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings was
     highest during a worker's late teens and early twenties. Growth rates in earnings
     generally were higher for workers with a bachelor's degree or higher than for
     workers with less education. (See table 5.) 
 
Number of Jobs Held 
 
Individuals held an average of 12.3 jobs from ages 18 to 52, with nearly half of these
jobs held before age 25. In this news release, a job is defined as an uninterrupted
period of work with a particular employer. (See the Technical Note for additional
information on the definition of a job.) On average, men held 12.5 jobs and women
held 12.1 jobs from ages 18 to 52. Men held 5.9 jobs from ages 18 to 24, compared
with 1.9 jobs from ages 45 to 52. The reduction in the average number of jobs held
in successive age groups was similar for women. (See table 1.)
 
On average, men without a high school diploma held 13.3 jobs from ages 18 to 52, while
men with a bachelor's degree and higher held 11.6 jobs between these ages. In contrast,
women without a high school diploma held 9.9 jobs from ages 18 to 52, while women with
a bachelor's degree and higher held 13.1 jobs between these ages. 
 
From ages 18 to age 24, Whites held more jobs than Blacks, or Hispanics or Latinos.
On average, Whites held 5.9 jobs between the ages of 18 and 24, while Blacks held 4.8
jobs and Hispanics or Latinos held 5.1 jobs. Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics or Latinos
held between 4.3 and 4.6 jobs from age 25 to age 34 and between 2.9 and 3.1 jobs from
age 35 to age 44. From age 45 to age 52, Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics or Latinos all
held an average of 1.9 jobs.

Duration of Employment Relationships 
 
The length of time a worker remains with an employer increased with the age at which
the worker began the job. Of the jobs that workers began when they were 18 to 24 years
of age, 70 percent of those jobs ended in less than a year and 93 percent ended in
fewer than 5 years. Among jobs started by 35 to 44 year olds, 36 percent ended in less
than a year, and 75 percent ended in fewer than 5 years. (See table 2.) 
 
Percent of Weeks Employed, Unemployed, and Not in the Labor Force 
 
On average, the youngest baby boomers (born 1957-64) were employed during 78 percent
of all the weeks from ages 18 to 52. They were unemployed--that is, without jobs but
seeking work--5 percent of the weeks. They were not in the labor force--that is, neither
working nor seeking work--18 percent of the weeks. (See table 3.) 
 
The amount of time spent employed differed substantially between those without a high
school diploma and those who had graduated from high school or attained higher levels
of education. Individuals with less than a high school diploma (as of the 2016-17 survey)
spent 59 percent of weeks employed and 33 percent of weeks out of the labor force from
ages 18 to 52. By comparison, high school graduates spent 76 percent of weeks employed
and 18 percent of weeks out of the labor force, while those with a bachelor's degree and
higher spent 84 percent of weeks employed and 13 percent of weeks out of the labor force.
 
White high school graduates with no college were employed a higher percentage of weeks
and out of the labor force a smaller percentage of weeks than Black and Hispanic or
Latino high school graduates with no college. Between the ages of 18 and 52, White high
school graduates with no college spent 79 percent of weeks employed and 16 percent of
weeks out of the labor force, while Black high school graduates with no college spent 65
percent of weeks employed and 25 percent of weeks out of the labor force and Hispanic or
Latino high school graduates with no college spent 73 percent of weeks employed and 21
percent of weeks out of the labor force. Among those with a bachelor's degree and higher,
however, there was little difference among racial and ethnic groups in labor market
attachment; each group spent between 83 percent and 85 percent of weeks employed.

The amount of time spent in the labor force differs by sex, with women at every educational
level spending fewer weeks in the labor force than men. Overall, men were out of the labor
force 11 percent of weeks from ages 18 to 52; at these same ages, women were out of the
labor force 24 percent of weeks. Women's labor force participation increased with their
education level. Women without a high school diploma spent nearly half (49 percent) of
all weeks between ages 18 and 52 out of the labor force, while those with a high school
diploma were out of the labor force 26 percent of weeks, those with some college were
out of the labor force 23 percent of weeks, and women with a bachelor's degree and higher
were out of the labor force only 18 percent of weeks. Among men, those without a high
school diploma were out of the labor force about 22 percent of weeks, while men in the
remaining three education categories were out of the labor force only 9 percent to 12
percent of weeks. (See table 3.) 
 
While on average women spent fewer weeks in the labor force than men, the labor force
participation patterns of men and women were fairly similar. For both men and women, time
spent out of the labor force was greatest between the ages of 18 and 24, reflecting the
transition from education and training to the work force. For women, time spent out of 
the labor force decreased from 30 percent of weeks between the ages of 18 and 24 to 25
percent of weeks between the ages of 25 and 34 to 21 percent of weeks between the ages
of 35 and 44, and then remained nearly unchanged at 22 percent of weeks between the ages
of 45 and 52.  Men were out of the labor force 18 percent of weeks between the ages of 18
to 24, and then fewer than 9 percent of weeks from ages 25 to 44; from ages 45 to 52, they
increased their time out of the labor force to almost 13 percent of weeks.  So while the
percent of weeks out of the labor force followed a similar trend, within each age range,
women spent more weeks out of the labor force than men. (See table 4.)

The percentage of weeks in which women were employed increased from 63 percent in the
18 to 24 age group to a peak of 76 percent in the 35 to 44 age group and then decreased
slightly to 74 percent in the 45 to 52 age group. Following a similar pattern, the
percentage of weeks in which men were employed increased from 73 percent in the 18 to
24 age group to a peak of 88 percent in both the 25 to 34 and the 35 to 44 age categories.
The percent of weeks employed then dipped to 83 percent in the 45 to 52 age group. (See
table 4.) 

Percent Growth in Real Earnings
 
The inflation-adjusted earnings of workers born in the latter years of the baby boom
(1957-64) increased most rapidly while they were young. Hourly earnings grew by an average
of 6.5 percent per year from ages 18 to 24. The earnings growth rate slowed to 3.3 percent
annually from ages 25 to 34 and then to 2.5 percent annually from ages 35 to 44. From
ages 45 to 52, earnings were stagnant (-0.2 percent). 

In every age category, growth rates of inflation-adjusted hourly earnings generally were
higher for workers with more education. Earnings growth for 18 to 24 year olds with less
than a high school diploma was 2.9 percent, while those with a bachelor's degree and
higher saw their earnings grow by 9.6 percent at the same ages. On average, 45- to 52-
year-olds with less than a high school diploma experienced negative earnings growth (-1.4
percent), while at the same ages earnings among those with a bachelor's degree and higher
increased by 0.5 percent. 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.
(See table 5.) 
 
Additional data are available at www.bls.gov/nls/y79supp.htm. 




Technical Note

   The estimates in this release were obtained using data from the first 27 rounds
of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). This survey is conducted
by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and the Center
for Human Resource Research at The Ohio State University under the direction and
sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor’s 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 survey 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 noninstitutionalized,
     civilian Black, Hispanic or Latino, and economically disadvantaged nonblack, non-
     Hispanic or Latino 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 economically
disadvantaged nonblack, non-Hispanic youths were dropped from the supplemental sample.
As a result, the NLSY79 sample now includes 9,964 individuals 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
2016-17, 6,912 individuals responded to the survey, for a retention rate of 69 percent
(representing a 76 percent response rate among those sample members who are still living).
Only these individuals are included in the estimates in this release. All results are
weighted using the 2016-17 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 estimates 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 most of the respondents in this survey are still working and have more
years of work life ahead of them. As the cohort continues to age, more complete
information will become available. 

   A unique feature of the NLSY79 is that it collects the beginning and ending dates of
all jobs held by a respondent so that a longitudinal history can be constructed of each
respondent’s 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 information on the respondent’s 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 or she 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 survey 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 reports earnings growth from age 45 to age 52. The youngest respondents
in the sample (birth year 1964) were these ages during 2009-16, whereas the oldest
respondents (birth year 1957) were these ages during 2002-09. 
   
   Although participants in the NLSY79 were ages 51 to 60 during the 2016-17 interviews,
this release covers only the period while the respondents were ages 18 to 52. The reason
for not including older ages is that the sample sizes were still too small to provide
statistically reliable estimates for age groups older than 52. As the NLSY79 continues
to be administered 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, educational attainment is defined as of
the 2016-17 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 bachelor’s degree at age 52. That
respondent would be included in the “Bachelor’s degree and higher” educational category in
all age categories shown on the table, even though he or she did not have a bachelor’s degree
at any point from age 18 to age 51. 
 
Definitions 
 
   Job. A job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particular 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, rather 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 (in 1979 dollars)
were not included 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. 
 
   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 publications, estimates usually are published for Whites, Blacks,
and Hispanics or Latinos, but these groups are not mutually exclusive. The term Hispanic or Latino
is considered to be an ethnicity group, and Hispanics or Latinos can be of any race. Most other
BLS publications include Hispanics or Latinos in the White and Black race groups in addition to
the Hispanic 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 Service: (800) 877-8339. 




Table 1. Number of jobs held by individuals from ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 by         
educational attainment, sex, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and age                  
                                                                                          
                                          Average number of jobs for individuals ages 18 to 52
                                                              in 1978-2016                
                                                                                          
         Characteristic                                                                   
                                                     Ages 18  Ages 25  Ages 35    Ages 45 
                                         Total (1)   to 24(2)  to 34    to 44     to 52(3)
                                                                                          
Total .................................     12.3	5.7	 4.5	  2.9       1.9
 Less than a high school diploma ......	    11.9	5.1	 4.6	  2.8	    1.5
 High school graduates, no college (4).	    12.0	5.3	 4.5	  3.0	    1.9
 Some college or associate degree .....	    12.8	5.7	 4.6	  3.0	    2.1
 Bachelor's degree and higher (5) .....	    12.4	6.3	 4.4	  2.8	    2.1
                                                                                     
Men ...................................	    12.5	5.9	 4.7	  2.9	    1.9
 Less than a high school diploma ......	    13.3	6.0	 5.5	  3.1	    1.6
 High school graduates, no college (4).	    12.6	5.8	 4.8	  2.9	    1.9
 Some college or associate degree .....	    13.0	6.0	 4.7	  2.9	    2.0
 Bachelor's degree and higher (5) .....	    11.6	5.9	 4.3	  2.8	    2.0
                                                                                          
Women .................................	    12.1	5.4	 4.3	  2.9       2.0
 Less than a high school diploma ......	     9.9	3.8	 3.5	  2.5       1.3
 High school graduates, no college (4).	    11.4	4.8	 4.0	  3.0       1.8
 Some college or associate degree .....	    12.6	5.6	 4.5	  3.0	    2.1
 Bachelor's degree and higher (5) .....	    13.1	6.6	 4.5	  2.8	    2.1
 	 		 	 	 
White non-Hispanic ....................	    12.4	5.9	 4.5   	  2.9	    1.9
 Less than a high school diploma ......	    12.6	5.6	 5.0	  3.0	    1.5
 High school graduates, no college (4).	    12.2	5.5	 4.5	  2.9	    1.8
 Some college or associate degree .....	    12.8	5.9	 4.5	  2.9	    2.1
 Bachelor's degree and higher (5) .....	    12.3	6.4	 4.4	  2.8	    2.0
                                                                                        
Black non-Hispanic ....................	    11.8	4.8	 4.6	  3.1	    1.9
 Less than a high school diploma ......	    10.3	3.9	 4.0	  2.5	    1.3
 High school graduates, no college (4).	    11.4	4.5	 4.6	  3.1	    1.9
 Some college or associate degree .....	    12.5	5.0	 4.8	  3.4	    2.1
 Bachelor's degree and higher (5) .....	    12.8	5.6	 4.7	  3.2	    2.4
 	 		 	 	 
Hispanic or Latino ....................	    12.1	5.1	 4.3	  3.0	    1.9
 Less than a high school diploma ......	    11.4	4.5	 4.1	  2.8	    1.6
 High school graduates, no college (4).	    11.7	5.1	 4.2	  3.0	    1.9
 Some college or associate degree .....	    13.3	5.4	 4.5	  3.2	    2.1
 Bachelor's degree and higher (5) .....	    11.7	5.3	 4.5	  2.8	    1.9

                                                                                          
   (1)  Jobs held in more than one age category were counted in each, but only once in the total 
column.  The total excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978, or who had not 
yet turned age 53 when interviewed in 2016-17.
   (2)  This category excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978.
   (3)  This category excludes individuals who had not yet turned age 53 when interviewed
in 2016-17.
   (4)  Includes individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   (5)  Includes individuals with bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral degrees.

Note: 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 51 to 60 in 2016-17. Educational attainment is defined as of the
2016-17 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 2. Duration of employment relationships with a single employer for all jobs started
from ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 by age at start of job, sex, race, and Hispanic or    
Latino ethnicity                                                                         
                                                                                         
                               Cumulative percent distribution of duration        Percent
                                  of completed employment relationships           of jobs
 Age at the start of job                                                          ongoing
   and characteristic      Less than  Less than  Less than  Less than  Less than  in 2016
                            1 year    2 years    5 years    10 years   15 years          
                                                                                         
Ages 18 to 24 (1).......    70.1       83.5	   93.0	       96.4	   97.5	     1.0 
                                                                                         
  Men ..................    70.4       83.7	   92.7	       96.2	   97.4	     1.1
  Women ................    69.6       83.2	   93.3	       96.6	   97.7	     0.9
 	 		 	 	 	 
  White non-Hispanic ...    69.8       83.3	   92.9	       96.3        97.4	     1.0
  Black non-Hispanic ...    72.2       85.2	   94.0	       97.0	   98.0	     0.8
  Hispanic or Latino ...    69.9       82.6	   92.5	       96.4	   97.6	     0.9
 	 		 	 	 	 
Ages 25 to 34 ..........    53.0       69.6	   85.4	       92.1	   94.5	     3.4
 	 		 	 	 	 
  Men ..................    52.8       69.3	   84.5	       91.2	   93.7	     3.9
  Women ................    53.3       70.1	   86.3	       93.1	   95.3	     2.7
 	 		 	 	 	 
  White non-Hispanic ...    51.7       68.3	   84.6	       91.6	   94.1	     3.6
  Black non-Hispanic ...    57.6       74.6	   88.3	       94.0	   96.0	     2.2
  Hispanic or Latino ...    55.6       72.2	   86.5	       93.1	   95.3	     3.0
 	 		 	 	 	 
Ages 35 to 44 ..........    35.8       53.8        74.8	        (*)	    (*)	     9.6
 	 		 	 	 	 
  Men ..................    34.5       52.9	   74.0	        (*)	    (*)	    10.4
  Women ................    37.0       54.7	   75.5	        (*)	    (*)	     8.7
 	 		 	 	 	 
  White non-Hispanic ...    34.5       52.4	   73.2	        (*)	    (*)	    10.3
  Black non-Hispanic ...    39.4       58.6	   80.2	        (*)	    (*)	     7.0
  Hispanic or Latino ...    38.8       56.1	   78.6	        (*)	    (*)	     7.8
 	 		 	 	 	 
Ages 45 to 52 (2).......    29.4       46.3	    (*)	        (*)	    (*)	    25.3
 	 		 	 	 	 
  Men ..................    26.8       43.9	    (*)	        (*)	    (*)	    26.6
  Women ................    31.8       48.5	    (*)	        (*)	    (*)	    24.0
 	 		 	 	 	 
  White non-Hispanic ...    28.2       44.9	    (*)	        (*)	    (*)	    26.4
  Black non-Hispanic ...    34.0       52.5	    (*)	        (*)	    (*)	    21.3
  Hispanic or Latino ...    31.6       49.0	    (*)	        (*)	    (*)	    22.5
                                                                                       
   (1) This category excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978.
   (2) This category excludes individuals who had not yet turned age 53 when interviewed
in 2016-17.
   (*)  Estimates are not presented for these categories because most sample members were
not yet old enough at the time of the 2016-17 survey to have completed jobs of these durations.

Note: 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 51 to 60 in 2016-17. 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 ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 by educational attainment, sex, race, and  
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity                                                        
                                                                                    
                                                   Percent of total weeks while     
                                                    ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016
            Characteristic                                                          
                                                                            Not in  
                                               Employed    Unemployed   labor force 
                                                                                    
Total, ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016...........     77.7	       4.6	     17.8
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     58.8	       7.9	     33.3
  High school graduates, no college (1).....     76.3	       5.6	     18.0
  Some college or associate degree .........     78.8	       4.0	     17.2
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     84.3	       2.4	     13.3
 	 	 	 
Men ........................................     83.6	       5.0	     11.3
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     69.1	       9.4	     21.5
  High school graduates, no college (1).....     82.2	       6.1	     11.7
  Some college or associate degree .........     86.7	       4.0	      9.3
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     88.7	       2.5	      8.8
 	 	 	 
Women ......................................     71.6	       4.1	     24.3
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     44.8	       5.8	     49.4
  High school graduates, no college (1).....     69.4	       5.1	     25.6
  Some college or associate degree .........     72.7	       4.0	     23.3
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     80.0	       2.3	     17.6
 	 	 	 
White non-Hispanic .........................     79.8	       3.8	     16.4
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     63.1	       7.1	     29.9
  High school graduates, no college (1).....     79.3	       4.7	     16.0
  Some college or associate degree .........     79.3	       3.4	     17.2
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     84.3	       2.2	     13.5
 	 	 	 
Black non-Hispanic .........................     69.0	       8.4	     22.7
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     48.7	      11.1	     40.2
  High school graduates, no college (1).....     65.1	       9.6	     25.2
  Some college or associate degree .........     76.4	       6.9	     16.7
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     83.2	       4.7	     12.1
 	 	 	 
Hispanic  or Latino ........................     71.9	       5.8	     22.2
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     56.7	       8.0	     35.3
  High school graduates, no college (1).....     72.5	       6.3	     21.2
  Some college or associate degree .........     77.2	       4.6	     18.2
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     85.4	       2.5	     12.1
                                                                                    
   (1)  Includes individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   (2)  Includes individuals with bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral
degrees.

Note: This table excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978,
and who had not yet turned age 53 when interviewed in 2016-17.

Note: 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 51 to 60 in 2016-17. Educational attainment is defined as of the
2016-17 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 ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 by age, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino  
ethnicity                                                                           
                                                                                    
                                                          Percent of total weeks    
 Age and characteristic                                                       Not in
                                                                               labor
                                                       Employed   Unemployed   force
                                                                                    
Total, ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 (1) ..............     77.7	     4.6	17.8
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ...................     68.1	     8.0	24.0
  Ages 25 to 34 in 1982-1998 .......................     79.7	     4.1	16.2
  Ages 35 to 44 in 1992-2008 .......................     82.1	     3.2	14.7
  Ages 45 to 52 in 2002-2016 (3) ...................     78.4	     4.2	17.4
 	 	 	 
Men, ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 (1) ..............       83.6	     5.0	11.3
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ...................     72.6	     9.0	18.4
  Ages 25 to 34 in 1982-1998 .......................     88.0	     4.6	7.4
  Ages 35 to 44 in 1992-2008 .......................     88.2	     3.4	8.4
  Ages 45 to 52 in 2002-2016 (3) ...................     82.9	     4.5	12.6
 	 	 	 
Women, ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 (1) ..............     71.6	     4.1	24.3
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ...................     63.3	     6.9	29.8
  Ages 25 to 34 in 1982-1998 .......................     71.2	     3.6	25.2
  Ages 35 to 44 in 1992-2008 .......................     75.8	     3.0	21.3
  Ages 45 to 52 in 2002-2016 (3) ...................     73.7	     3.9	22.4
 	 	 	 
White non-Hispanic, ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 (1) .     79.8	     3.8	16.4
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ...................     70.8	     6.9	22.3
  Ages 25 to 34 in 1982-1998 .......................     81.9	     3.3	14.7
  Ages 35 to 44 in 1992-2008 .......................     83.7	     2.6	13.8
  Ages 45 to 52 in 2002-2016 (3) ...................     80.4	     3.6	16.1
 	 	 	 
Black non-Hispanic, ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 (1) .     69.0	     8.4	22.7
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ...................     55.9	    13.2	30.9
  Ages 25 to 34 in 1982-1998 .......................     70.8	     8.2	21.0
  Ages 35 to 44 in 1992-2008 .......................     75.5	     6.2	18.3
  Ages 45 to 52 in 2002-2016 (3) ...................     70.1	     7.5	22.4
 	 	 	 
Hispanic or Latino, ages 18 to 52 in 1978-2016 (1) .     71.9	     5.8	22.2
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ...................     63.2	     9.0	27.8
  Ages 25 to 34 in 1982-1998 .......................     73.0	     5.0	22.0
  Ages 35 to 44 in 1992-2008 .......................     77.6	     4.4	18.0
  Ages 45 to 52 in 2002-2016 (3) ...................     73.9	     5.1	20.9
                                 
   (1) This category excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978,
or who had not yet turned age 53 when interviewed in 2016-17.
   (2) This category excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978.
   (3) This category excludes individuals who had not yet turned age 53 when
interviewed in 2016-17.

Note: 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 51 to 60 in 2016-17. 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
1978-2016 by educational attainment, sex, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and
age                                                                              
                                                                                 
                                                 Average annual percent growth in
                                                          hourly earnings        
                                                                                 
         Characteristic                        Ages 18  Ages 25  Ages 35  Ages 45
                                               to 24(1)  to 34    to 44  to 52(2)
                                                                                 
Total .....................................      6.5	  3.3	   2.5	   -0.2
  Less than a high school diploma .........      2.9	  1.6	   1.7	   -1.4
  High school graduates, no college (3)....      5.0	  2.3	   2.4	   -0.5
  Some college or associate degree ........      6.3	  3.4	   2.3	   -0.3
  Bachelor's degree and higher (4).........      9.6	  5.3	   3.0	    0.5
 	 	 	 	 
Men .......................................      7.1	  3.7	   2.8	   -0.4
  Less than a high school diploma .........      3.2	  1.6	   1.5	   -2.1
  High school graduates, no college (3)....      5.8	  2.4	   2.8	   -0.8
  Some college or associate degree ........      7.8	  4.0	   2.7	   -0.5
  Bachelor's degree and higher (4).........      9.9	  6.5	   3.5	    0.8
 	 	 	 	 
Women .....................................      5.8	  2.9	   2.1	   -0.1
  Less than a high school diploma .........      2.6	  1.4	   1.9	   -0.1
  High school graduates, no college (3)....      4.1	  2.2	   1.9	   -0.2
  Some college or associate degree ........      5.0	  3.0	   1.9	    0.0
  Bachelor's degree and higher (4).........      9.3	  4.2	   2.6	    0.1
 	 	 	 	 
White non-Hispanic ........................      6.9	  3.4	   2.6	   -0.2
  Less than a high school diploma .........      3.7	  1.6	   1.9	   -2.1
  High school graduates, no college (3)....      5.3	  2.2	   2.5	   -0.5
  Some college or associate degree ........      6.2	  3.5	   2.4	   -0.2
  Bachelor's degree and higher (4).........      9.9	  5.4	   3.1	    0.4
 	 	 	 	 
Black non-Hispanic ........................      4.5	  2.9	   2.0	   -0.2
  Less than a high school diploma .........      1.7	  1.1	   1.3	   -0.4
  High school graduates, no college (3)....      3.3	  2.3	   2.1	   -0.2
  Some college or associate degree ........      6.3	  3.5	   1.9	   -0.5
  Bachelor's degree and higher (4).........      6.7	  5.0	   2.2	    0.1
 	 	 	 	 
Hispanic or Latino ........................      5.7	  2.8	   2.3	   -0.3
  Less than a high school diploma .........      1.7	  1.8	   1.7	    0.1
  High school graduates, no college (3)....      5.6	  2.6	   1.7	   -0.8
  Some college or associate degree ........      6.8	  2.7	   2.4	   -0.8
  Bachelor's degree and higher (4).........      8.9	  4.9	   4.4	    1.5
                                                               
   (1) This category excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978.
   (2) This category excludes individuals who had not yet turned age 53 when
interviewed in 2016-17.
   (3) Includes individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   (4) Includes individuals with bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral
degrees.

Note: The CPI-U-RS was used to adjust hourly earnings to constant dollars, prior
to calculating the growth rates. 

Note: 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 51 to 60 in 2016-17. Educational attainment is
defined as of the 2016-17 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: August 22, 2019