Transition from school to work quicker as education increases
March 02, 2005
Between 1978 and 2002, it took approximately 5 years after leaving school for the first time before the average worker started a job that lasted 3 years.
The length of the transition varied by level of educational attainment.
Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLS79) show that the median high school dropout took nearly 11 years before starting a job that would last 3 years. In comparison, the median high school graduate took 6 years to start a job that would last 3 years. Those with a college degree settled into stable employment much more quickly; within a year and a half they started a job that would last 3 years.
In other words, the median high school dropout started a job that would last 3 years at age 29; the median high school graduate, at age 24; and the median college graduate, age 26.
These data are from the BLS National Longitudinal Surveys program. For additional information, see "The transition from school to work: education and work experiences," by Julie A. Yates, Monthly Labor Review, February 2005.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Transition from school to work quicker as education increases on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/feb/wk4/art03.htm (visited June 26, 2017).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
STEM occupations: past, present, and future
A look at employment and wages in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics occupations.
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.