Bureau of Labor Statistics

Occupational mobility and age

January 04, 2006

Occupational mobility rates for January 2004 show a consistent relationship between age and mobility—as age increases, occupational mobility rates decline.

Occupational mobility rates, by age, January 2004 (percent)
[Chart data—TXT]

The occupational mobility rate is the number of individuals employed in two time periods who change occupations divided by the number of individuals employed in both periods. In January 2004, the rate ranged from 1.6 percent for those 65 and older to 27.1 percent for those 16 to 19.

Generally, older persons have invested more time in completing their education or training and have built more experience in an occupation. As a result, they derive a smaller benefit from changing occupations.

However, younger persons, on average, have less to lose from experimenting with different occupations.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. This article presents occupational mobility data for the January 2003 to January 2004 period. For more information, see "Occupational mobility, January 2004," by Lynn Shniper, Monthly Labor Review, December 2005.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Occupational mobility and age at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2006/jan/wk1/art02.htm (visited November 28, 2021).


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