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Younger Workers - 10/30/14

One of the conventional wisdoms regarding the U.S. labor market is that, on average, younger workers don’t stick around in any one job for very long.  Indeed, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median tenure of workers ages 25 to 34 is only three years, less than a third of the tenure among people ages 55 to 64 years old.  As reported by CNBC, one of the reasons for this is that younger workers tend to prioritize work that feels meaningful over salary, which may help prompt higher turnover.  Given the emergence of freelancers, the current generation of young people is likely to work for more employers than any other. 

Eventually though, most people settle into a career.  A separate Department of Labor study conducted earlier this year indicated that young people on average settle into a committed career at the age of 27.  This report also notes that the majority of jobs held through the age of 26 were for a relatively short duration, with 57 percent of positions held by 18 to 26 year old workers ending in one year or less.  71 percent of these jobs ended in two years of less.  Perhaps it’s just coincidence, but age 27 is also the first year that parents can no longer maintain adult children on their employer health insurance plan.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.