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 July 23, 2017).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Employer-sponsored healthcare coverage across wage groups
A look at the relationship between employee wages and access to, participation in, and costs of employer-sponsored medical, dental, and vision care benefit plans.
Sports and Exercise
A look at participation and time spent in sports and exercise activities.
Women at Work
A look at women's labor force participation and earnings, how women spend their time and money, the nature of fatal work injuries, and labor force projections for the future.
STEM occupations: past, present, and future
A look at employment and wages in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics occupations.