Job switching: Results of a National Longitudinal Survey Summary

New data reveals baby boomers held 12.4 jobs from ages 18 to 54.

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New data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that individuals born in the latter years of the baby boom held an average of 12.4 jobs from ages 18 to 54.

Nearly half of these jobs were held from ages 18 to 24.

The findings are from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a survey of 9,964 men and women who were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979 and ages 53 to 62 when interviewed more recently.

The respondents were born in the years 1957 to 1964, the latter years of the baby boom that occurred in the United States from 1946 to 1964. The survey spans 39 years and provides information on work and nonwork experiences, education, training, income and assets, health, and other characteristics.

The information provided by respondents, who were interviewed annually from 1979 to 1994 and biennially since 1994, can be considered representative of all men and women born in the late 1950s and early 1960s and living in the United States when the survey began in 1979, according to the bureau.


Individuals held an average of 12.4 jobs from ages 18 to 54, with nearly half of these jobs held before age 25.

On average, men held 12.6 jobs and women held 12.3 jobs from ages 18 to 54. Men held 5.8 jobs from ages 18 to 24, compared with 2.1 jobs from ages 45 to 54. The reduction in the average number of jobs held in successive age groups was similar for women, the bureau said.

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