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Median tenure with current employer was 4.1 years in January 2020

September 29, 2020

The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.1 years in January 2020, little changed from 4.2 years in January 2018. Median employee tenure was generally higher among older workers than younger ones. For example, the median tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 (9.9 years) in January 2020 was more than three times that of workers ages 25 to 34 (2.8 years).

Median years of tenure with current employer for wage and salary workers, selected years, 1983–2020 
Month Both sexes Men Women

Jan 1983

3.5 4.1 3.1

Jan 1987

3.4 4.0 3.0

Jan 1991

3.6 4.1 3.2

Feb 1996

3.8 4.0 3.5

Feb 1998

3.6 3.8 3.4

Feb 2000

3.5 3.8 3.3

Jan 2002

3.7 3.9 3.4

Jan 2004

4.0 4.1 3.8

Jan 2006

4.0 4.1 3.9

Jan 2008

4.1 4.2 3.9

Jan 2010

4.4 4.6 4.2

Jan 2012

4.6 4.7 4.6

Jan 2014

4.6 4.7 4.5

Jan 2016

4.2 4.3 4.0

Jan 2018

4.2 4.3 4.0

Jan 2020

4.1 4.3 3.9

The share of wage and salary workers with a year or less of tenure with their current employer was 22 percent in January 2020, unchanged from January 2018. This short-tenured group includes new hires, job losers who found new jobs during the previous year, and workers who had voluntarily changed employers during the year.

Percent distribution of employed wage and salary workers by tenure with their current employer, by age, January 2020
Age 12 months or less 13 to 23 months 2 years 3 to 4 years 5 to 9 years 10 to 14 years 15 to 19 years 20 years or more

Total

22.2 7.0 5.7 17.8 19.3 10.6 6.6 10.8

16 to 19 years

74.9 11.3 7.7 5.8 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0

20 to 24 years

50.8 13.5 10.8 20.2 4.6 0.0 0.0 0.0

25 to 34 years

27.6 9.5 7.9 26.4 23.0 5.0 0.7 0.0

35 to 44 years

16.9 5.9 4.9 18.6 24.7 16.2 8.8 4.0

45 to 54 years

12.7 4.6 3.5 13.6 20.7 14.8 11.4 18.6

55 to 64 years

9.7 4.0 3.3 12.7 18.1 13.5 10.6 28.2

65 years and over

9.0 3.5 3.6 11.2 17.4 14.8 10.6 30.0

Younger workers were more likely than older workers to be short-tenured employees. For example, in January 2020, 75 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds had tenure of 12 months or less with their current employer, compared with 10 percent of workers ages 55 to 64.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see “Employee Tenure in 2020.” Median tenure is the point at which half of all workers had more tenure and half had less tenure.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Median tenure with current employer was 4.1 years in January 2020 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/median-tenure-with-current-employer-was-4-point-1-years-in-january-2020.htm (visited November 23, 2020).

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