Bureau of Labor Statistics

Average work experience rises in recent years

October 29, 1999

Since the mid-1980s, the average number of years of job experience has increased for both men and women who work in the private sector.

Mean years of work experience in private business, selected years, 1985-97
[Chart data—TXT]

Mean years of work experience for women in the private-sector workforce rose from 11.7 in 1985 to 12.5 in 1997—a rise of 0.8 year. For men, the increase was nearly twice as large. The average level of job experience of men at work in the private sector rose from 17.4 years in 1985 to 18.8 years in 1997, a gain of 1.4 years.

The aging of baby boomers helps to explain the rise in average years of work experience. During the 1980s and 1990s, the baby boomers went from being a large group of inexperienced workers to becoming a middle-aged and experienced group, and average work experience levels consequently grew.

These data are a product of the BLS Multifactor Productivityprogram. Find out more in Chapter 2 of Report on the American Workforce 1999.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Average work experience rises in recent years at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/oct/wk4/art05.htm (visited January 20, 2022).


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