Posted on March 2, 2020WSJ Kathryn Dill 2/20/20
Today’s youngest professionals aren’t job hopping any more than the prior generation, despite the hot job market.
The loyalty among younger workers contradicts a persistent myth that millennials are more eager to switch jobs.
Younger employees now entering their prime working years are so far proving as loyal to employers as the generation before them, despite a hot job market.
In January 2018, 70% of workers between the ages of 22 and 37, commonly known as the millennial generation, had worked for their current employer for 13 months or more, according to an analysis of federal data by the Pew Research Center. By comparison, that number was 69% for workers who were in the same age group in 2002 and are known as Generation X.
“When you look at millennials, they have no shorter job tenures with their current employers than Generation X did back in 2002,” said Richard Fry, senior researcher at Pew. “Ten years after the great recession, it’s still the case.”
Even when looking at longer tenures, data suggest younger workers may be more loyal than their predecessors were as they were getting their careers under way. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in January 2018, 28.8% of workers ages 25 to 34 had worked for the same employer for at least five years. The share of workers in that age group with equal tenure in 2000 was 21.8%.
The stability among younger workers comes as unemployment rates hover near 50-year lows and companies are drawing from a larger pool of job seekers. In January, the share of Americans aged 25 to 54 working or looking for work was at 83.1%, the highest rate since 2008.
“You have this phenomenon today of high employment, and yet this very high level of anxiety that we’re seeing amongst employees about job security,” said Robert Falzon, vice chair of Prudential Financial Inc. “I don’t think millennials are insulated from that.”
A survey conducted last year by Prudential found nearly 60% of millennials had worked for their current employer for three or more years, and 49% wanted to work for their employer for at least another four years.