Millennials have faced a lot of discrimination as they have entered the workforce. They’ve been called lazy and unskilled. They’ve also been accused of job-hopping at rates higher than preceding generations.
It’s sometimes amazing to hear older employees speak about younger employees in negative terms. Maybe these negative attitudes can be traced to the fact that Millennials are now the largest generational workforce. They are also slowly replacing older workers as they retire or are replaced. Then again, maybe the negativity is a cultural form of hazing and a natural rite of passage – for better or worse.
On the positive side, new research from Pew seems to indicate that, at least the job-hopping rap, is not accurate. Pew used Department of Labor data to review the job-hopping habits of Millennials and the generation preceding them – Generation X.
In January 2016, 63.4% of employed Millennials, the generation born between 1981 and 1998, reported that they had worked for their current employer at least 13 months. In February 2000, somewhat fewer 18- to 35-year-olds (59.9%) – most of whom are today’s Gen Xers – reported similar job tenure. Looking at young workers with longer tenures, 22% of Millennial workers had been with their employer for at least five years as of 2016, similar to the share of Gen X workers (21.8%) in 2000.
One factor that may be contributing to Millennials staying with employers longer is their relatively high levels of education, which is typically associated with longer tenure. Among 25- to 35-year-old workers in 2016, 38% of Millennial men and 46% of Millennial women had completed at least a bachelor’s degree. The Gen X workforce back in 2000 had significantly lower levels of educational attainment: 31% of male 25- to 35-year-old workers had finished college, as had only 34% of female workers.
Perhaps as the tenure of Millennials in the workforce increases, so will the idea that they are less valuable than the generations they are following.