BLS Baby Boomer Study Suggests Education Plays A Role In The Numbers Of Jobs Held

28 Aug, 2019 Nancy Grover


Washington, DC ( – A new survey released by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that baby boomers have worked hard at staying employed throughout their lifetimes. Workers born from 1957 to 1964 held an average of 12.3 jobs between the ages of 18 and 52, with the average dropping as they clos in on retirement age. 

Men held an average of 12.5 jobs during their working years, while women held 12.1.

From age 18 to 24 baby boomers held an average of 5.7 jobs. The average decreased slightly at age 25 to 34 to 4.5 jobs. As baby boomers neared middle age, the average number of jobs dropped to 2.9 at age 35 to 44, and for ages 45 to 52 it dropped ever further to 1.9. 

Education appeared to play a role, as differences in the numbers of jobs correlated to education levels. Men without a high school diploma held a higher average of jobs at 13.3 while those with a bachelor’s degree or higher held 11.6 jobs from age 18 to 52. The opposite effect of education was observed for women. Women without a high school diploma held an average of 9.9 jobs during their working years but those with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased to 13.1 during the same life span. 

The survey indicates that age could be a factor in job longevity as well. For workers age 18 to 24, 70 percent of the jobs ended in less than a year and 93 percent ended in less than 5 years. For ages 35 to 44, 36 percent of the jobs ended in less and a year, and 75 percent of the jobs ended in less than 5 years. 

The survey suggests that baby boomers had low unemployment rates as workers were employed 78 percent of their work lives from ages 18 to 52. In a comparison of men and women, men were employed 84 percent of their work years while women were employed 72 percent. Additionally, women were out of the workforce more than men. Women were out of the labor force for an average total of 24 percent of the time, while men were only out 11 percent.

The full study is available on the USDOL website

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    About The Author

    • Nancy Grover

      Nancy Grover is a freelance writer having recently retired as the Director, Media Services for She comes to our company with more than 35 years as a broadcast journalist and communications consultant. Grover’s specialties include insurance, workers’ compensation, financial services, substance abuse, healthcare and disability. For 12 years she served as the Program Chair of the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo. A journalism/speech graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Grover also holds an MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

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