Workers in the U.S. are staying a bit longer in their jobs and the growth in tenure is primarily driven by women, according to a new report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
The report, “Employee Tenure Trends, 1983-2014,” found that overall median tenure of workers (the midpoint of wage and salary workers’ length of employment in their current jobs) was slightly higher in 2014 at 5.5 years compared with 5.0 years in 1983. This continues a trend of steady increases from a low of 4.7 years in 1998-2002.
The report also found that female workers are staying on the job longer, while job tenure for men is shrinking.
Specifically, the EBRI report said, the median tenure for male workers was lower in 2014 at 5.5 years compared with 5.9 years in 1983. In contrast, the median tenure for female workers increased from 4.2 years in 1983 to 5.4 years in 2014.
“That means the increase in the median tenure of female workers more than offset the decline in the median tenure of male workers, leaving the overall level slightly higher,” said Craig Copeland, EBRI senior research associate and author of the report. “The high tenure trend is being driven by women.”
Other highlights of the EBRI report include:
- The percentage of workers with 20 or more years of tenure increased from 8.9 percent in 1983 to 10.9 percent in 2014, with a corresponding decline for workers with one year or less of tenure—from 25.7 percent in 1983 to 19.7 percent in 2014.
- 11.6 percent of males had 20 or more years of tenure in 2014, down slightly from 12.4 percent in 1983. However, there was a drastic increase in the percentage of females with 20 or more years of tenure, going from 4.9 percent in 1983 to 10.1 percent in 2014.
- The percentage of male workers with less than five years of tenure dropped slightly from 1983 to 2014, going from 49.4 percent to 47.5 percent. For female workers the drop was more significant: 58.6 percent had less than five years of tenure in 1983 compared to 48.5 percent in 2014.