What is Considered Job Stability?Shannon Hall
According to a Gallup poll, the new average employee tenure is 2-3 years. This is much different from the 3-5 years we have seen in the past and drastically different from companies who have made it the norm to retain lifetime employees or those who stay 15 years or longer. This can make it difficult to spot job stability among candidates, unless we have a strong understanding of what job stability looks like in the current market. The reason for this change is a shift in the workforce as well as changes to the climate of the job market. It has become easier to find jobs that will offer better benefits and compensation in order to remain competitive in the market, and employees today are more willing to leave their current job for a new position with better opportunity. There are a few factors that affect statistics regarding employee tenure and job stability, and we have outlined each in the article below.
Varies by Age Demographic
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports higher average tenure among workers ages 55 to 64 (10.1 years) than with workers ages 25 to 34 who have an average tenure of 2.8 years. While it makes sense that a 25-year-old worker has not accumulated 10 years of tenure just yet, this drastic difference also has to do with shifting workforce attitudes. Millennials now make up 38% of the workforce and that number is projected to rise as more join the workforce over time. This means the majority of the workforce now stays with a company an average of 2-3 years before moving on. In order to better understand these changes in the workforce, see our article: Is your Company Millennial Friendly?
Varies by Industry
According to the BLS report, wage and salary workers in the public sector have an average tenure of 6.8 years as opposed to private-sector employees who have an average of 3.8 years. However, this can also be due in part to differences in age. The BLS measures 3 in 4 government workers to be over the age of 35 in comparison to 3 in 5 private wage and salary workers. Within the private sector, two industries saw workers who had been with their employer for 5 or more years: mining and manufacturing. Meanwhile, workers in leisure and hospitality had the lowest average tenure of 2 years. The BLS again attributes these differences to differences in age, as the average age of workers in mining and manufacturing is greater than the age of those in leisure and hospitality.
Varies by Occupation
The BLS reports that workers in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest average tenure (5 years). Within this group, employees with jobs in management (6.4 years), architecture and engineering (5.7 years), legal occupations (5.1 years), and in education, training, and library occupations (5.1 years) had the longest tenure. On the opposite side of the scale, those in service-related occupations had the lowest average tenure (2.9 years. Among those employees, those working in food service had the lowest median tenure of 1.9 years. Again, the BLS notes that those working in service industries tend to be younger than those working in management, professional, and related occupations.
Varies by Nature of Job
Over the past ten years the popularity of temporary and contract jobs has steadily increased. Often on a resume, these jobs can give the illusion of a lack of stability when the reality could be quite the opposite. A dependable employee might carry out several contracts over the course of a few years. Contract work might not be noted in the most obvious way on a resume, but it is worth giving a candidate a second look with the knowledge that contract work is more common than ever. Freelance and Consulting work may also appear on a resume for a shorter than average length of time. Professionals often use this work to fill in gaps between employment. These short-term projects are not indicative of poor job stability, but rather they are showing stability within jobs of an unconventional nature.
The concept of job stability is changing in definition. This is largely due to changes in the job market as well as the habits of the new workforce majority. It’s important to be able to recognize job stability on a situational basis, considering the demographic, industry, and occupation of a candidate. By staying current with industry trends and statistics regarding tenure, you reduce the chances of passing on a great candidate simply because they don’t meet a preconceived definition of job stability.
Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. https://bradleystaffinggroup.com/contact-us/