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National Longitudinal Surveys

National Longitudinal Surveys Home Page

The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) are a set of surveys designed to gather information at multiple points in time on the labor market activities and other significant life events of several groups of men and women. NLS data have served as an important tool for economists, sociologists, and other researchers for more than 50 years. Learn about the different NLS cohorts.

Notices

  • NLSY97 data from 1997 through 2019 (Rounds 1-19) released. Read More »

Graphics

nlsy79-cumulative-jobs-ages-18-54

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: NLSY79 cumulative number of jobs held from age 18 to age 54 in 1978-2018, by sex and age.

nlsy79-percent-employed-ages-18-54

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: NLSY79 percent of weeks employed from age 18 to age 54 in 1978-2018, by educational attainment, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.

nlsy79-percent-not-in-labor-force-ages-18-54

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: NLSY79 percent of weeks not in the labor force from age 18 to age 54 in 1978-2018, by sex and age.

nlsy79-marital-status-age-24-34-44-54

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: NLSY79 marital status at age 24, age 34, age 44, and age 54 by educational attainment.

nlsy79-health-age-24-34-44-54

Click the graphic to enlarge chart: NLSY79 percent of individuals whose health limited the kind or amount of work they performed by age and educational attainment.

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Latest News Releases

Persons born in the latter years of the baby boom average 12.4 jobs from ages 18 to 54

08/31/2021

Persons born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-64) held an average of 12.4 jobs from ages 18 to 54. Nearly half of these jobs were held from ages 18 to 24.
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Americans born in the early 1980s hold an average of 8.2 jobs from ages 18 through 32

05/05/2020

A longitudinal study of Americans born in the early 1980s reveals that individuals held an average of 8.2 jobs from ages 18 through 32. Over half of these jobs were held between the ages of 18 and 22. Individuals were employed for an average of 75 percent of weeks from ages 18 to 32.
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Publications

The Economics Daily

The Economics Daily article image

Educational attainment, employment, and working from home, February–May 2021

The higher their education level, the more likely people born in the years 1980 to 1984 were to work for pay or profit in an average week from February to May 2021. At each level of education, men were more likely to work than women. Both men and women with higher levels of education were more likely to work from home at least some of the time than those with lower levels of education. read more »

Monthly Labor Review

Monthly Labor Review article image

A look at the new job-task information in the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth

Looking at workers born from 1957 to 1964 and 1980 to 1984, this article examines the attributes of U.S. jobs and how they vary across different demographics. read more »