Baby Boomers Still Seeking That Perfect Job

Baby Boomers continue to job-hop even in middle age, according to data released last week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The findings come from a 1979 survey of 9,964 men and women who were between the ages of 14 and 22 when first surveyed, and aged 47 to 56 when interviewed again in 2012 and 2013.

Key findings include:

  • Between the age of 18 and 48, Baby Boomers—those born between 1957 and 1964—held an average of 11.7 jobs, half of them between ages 18 and 24.
  • Among jobs started by 40- to 48-year-olds, 32 percent ended in less than a year, and 69 percent ended in fewer than five years.
  • Generally, men spent a larger percent of weeks employed than did women (84 percent versus 71 percent). Women spent much more time out of the labor force (25 percent of weeks) than did men (11 percent of weeks).
  • Men without a high school diploma held 12.9 jobs from ages 18 to 48, while men with a bachelor’s degree held 11.2 jobs during the same time. In contrast, women with no high school diploma held 9.6 jobs from ages 18 to 48, while women with a bachelor’s degree held 12.5 jobs between these ages.
  • Baby Boomers were employed during 78 percent of all the weeks occurring from age 18 to age 48. They were unemployed—that is, without jobs but seeking work—5 percent of the weeks. They were not in the labor force (neither working nor seeking work) 18 percent of the weeks.

Access the report in its entirety here.