Millennials are changing jobs at a less frequent rate than prior generations

BY Dave Sloan  September 4, 2014 at 5:19 PM EST
The Department of Labor said the number of applications for unemployment claims rose by 4,000 for the week ending August 30. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

The Census Bureau says that Millennials are not changing jobs as much as previous generations. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

The job hopping that has become synonymous with Millennials is a false depiction of the current predicament that they find themselves in, according to the Census Bureau. In fact, the Washington Post reports, the number of young people changing jobs in the last two years has been significantly less than generations prior, due in part to the Great Recession.

Data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012 showed that people from the ages of 25 to 34 years old were staying at their current job for approximately 3.2 years, while 10 years prior in 2002, 25 to 34 year olds were changing jobs at a rate of 2.7 years. After the recession, 35 percent of 22 to 25 year olds year olds were found to change jobs each year — a 25 percent drop from 1980.

Economists believe that the stagnation caused by the Great Recession were responsible for the drops. The lack of jobs during the recession, the Washington Post wrote, prevented Millennials from changing jobs to those that presented a better salary and positions that fit their skill set and education level.

Economists tend to view voluntary job hopping as beneficial to people early in their careers. Think of it as trading up: people often change jobs because they find a position that’s better paying or a better fit. It’s believed that the recession stymied some of these transitions because it has made finding a new job much harder.