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People born in early 1980s held an average of 7.8 jobs from ages 18 through 30

April 23, 2018

People born in 1980–84 held an average of 7.8 jobs from ages 18 through 30. Women held an average of 7.9 jobs, and men held an average of 7.7 jobs. Women with higher levels of education held more jobs than women with lower levels. Women with a bachelor's degree held 8.4 jobs from ages 18 through 30, compared with 6.2 jobs for female high school dropouts. Men held a similar number of jobs regardless of their level of education.

Average number of jobs held from age 18 through age 30 in 1998–2015 by educational attainment and sex
Characteristic Total Men Women


7.8 7.7 7.9

Less than a high school diploma

6.9 7.5 6.2

High school graduates, no college

7.3 7.6 6.8

Some college or associate degree

8.0 7.9 8.1

Bachelor's degree and higher

8.0 7.5 8.4

People held an average of 4.6 jobs in the 5-year period from ages 18 to 22. The average number of jobs dropped to 2.9 in the 4-year period from ages 23 to 26, and then dropped more, to 2.2 jobs in the 4-year period from ages 27 to 30. The pattern of people holding fewer jobs as they aged was similar among women and men and across racial and ethnic groups and levels of education.

These data are from the National Longitudinal Surveys program. For more information, see "Labor Market Activity, Education, and Partner Status among Americans at Age 31: Results from a Longitudinal Survey" (HTML) (PDF). A job is defined as a period of work, including gaps, with a particular employer.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, People born in early 1980s held an average of 7.8 jobs from ages 18 through 30 at (visited July 18, 2024).

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