Economic News Release

Number of Jobs, Labor Market Experience, and Earnings Growth: Results from a National Longitudinal Survey News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, July 25, 2012                       USDL-12-1489

Technical information: (202) 691-7410  *  nls_info@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/nls
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                       NUMBER OF JOBS HELD, LABOR MARKET ACTIVITY, AND
                       EARNINGS GROWTH AMONG THE YOUNGEST BABY BOOMERS:
                            RESULTS FROM A LONGITUDINAL SURVEY


The average person born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-1964) held 11.3 jobs
from age 18 to age 46, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly half of
these jobs were held from ages 18 to 24.

These 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
45 to 53 when interviewed most recently in 2010-11. These 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 more than 3 decades 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.

This release of the latest data from the longitudinal survey focuses on the number of
jobs held, job duration, labor force participation, and earnings growth. Highlights
from the survey include:

   --Individuals born from 1957 to 1964 held an average of 11.3 jobs from ages 18
     to 46. These baby boomers held an average of 5.5 jobs while ages 18 to 24.
     The average fell to 3 jobs from ages 25 to 29, to 2.4 jobs from ages 30 to 34,
     and to 2.1 jobs from ages 35 to 39 and also from ages 40 to 46. Jobs that span
     more than one age group were counted once in each age group, so the overall
     average number of jobs held from age 18 to age 46 is less than the sum of the
     number of jobs across the individual age groups.

   --Although job duration tends to be longer the older a worker is when starting
     the job, these baby boomers continued to have large numbers of short-duration
     jobs even at middle age. Among jobs started by 40 to 46 year olds, 33 percent
     ended in less than a year, and 69 percent ended in less than 5 years.

   --The average person was employed during 78 percent of the weeks from age 18 to
     age 46. Generally, men spent a larger percent of weeks employed than did women
     (84 versus 71 percent). Women spent much more time out of the labor force (25
     percent of weeks) than did men (10 percent of weeks).
     
   --The average annual percent growth in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings was
     fastest when workers were in their late teens and early twenties. Growth
     rates in earnings generally were higher for college graduates than for
     workers with less education.

Number of Jobs Held

Individuals held an average of 11.3 jobs from ages 18 to 46, with nearly half of these
jobs being held before age 25. In this release, a job is defined as an uninterrupted 
period of work with a particular employer. (See the Technical Note for additional
information on the definition of a job.) On average, men held 11.5 jobs, and women held
11.1 jobs from age 18 to age 46. Men held 5.7 jobs from age 18 to age 24, compared with
2.1 jobs from age 40 to age 46. The reduction in the average number of jobs held in
successive ages was similar for women. (See table 1.)

On average, men without a high school diploma held 13.1 jobs from ages 18 to 46, while
men with a bachelor’s degree and higher held 11.4 jobs between these ages. In contrast,
women without a high school diploma held an average of 10.1 jobs from ages 18 to 46,
while women with a bachelor’s degree and higher held 12.2 jobs between these ages.

From age 18 to age 24, whites held more jobs than blacks or Hispanics. On average,
whites held 5.7 jobs between the ages of 18 and 24, while blacks held 4.6 jobs and
Hispanics held 4.9 jobs. From age 25 to age 46, there was no significant difference
in the average number of jobs held by individuals across racial and ethnic groups.

Duration of Employment Relationships

The length of time a worker remains with the same employer increases with the age at
which the worker began the job. Of the jobs that workers began when they were 18 to
24 years of age, 69 percent ended in less than a year and 93 percent ended in less than
5 years. Among jobs started by 40 to 46 year olds, 33 percent ended in less than a year
and 69 percent ended in less than 5 years. (See table 2.)

Percent of Weeks Employed, Unemployed, and Not in the Labor Force

On average, the baby boomers represented by the survey sample were employed during 78
percent of all the weeks occurring from age 18 to age 46. They were unemployed--that
is, without jobs but seeking work--4 percent of the weeks. They were not in the labor
force--that is, neither working nor seeking work--17 percent of the weeks. (See
table 3.)

The amount of time spent employed differs substantially among those without a high
school diploma and those who have graduated from high school or attained higher levels
of education. Individuals with less than a high school diploma (as of the 2010-11
survey) spent 60 percent of weeks employed and 31 percent of weeks out of the labor
force from age 18 to age 46. By comparison, high school graduates spent 79 percent of
weeks employed and 15 percent of weeks out of the labor force, while those with a
bachelor’s degree and higher spent 82 percent of weeks employed and 15 percent of weeks
out of the labor force.

White high school graduates with no college were employed a higher percentage of weeks
and out of the labor force a smaller percentage of weeks than similarly educated blacks
or Hispanics. Between the ages of 18 and 46, white high school graduates with no college
spent 82 percent of weeks employed and 14 percent of weeks out of the labor force,
similarly educated blacks spent 68 percent of weeks employed and 22 percent of weeks out
of the labor force, and Hispanic high school graduates with no college spent 74 percent
of weeks employed and 20 percent of weeks out of the labor force. Among those with a
bachelor’s degree and higher, however, there was little difference among racial and
ethnic groups in labor market attachment; each group spent about 80 percent of weeks
employed.

The amount of time spent in the labor force differs by sex. Overall, men were out of the
labor force 10 percent of weeks from age 18 to age 46; at these same ages, women were
out of the labor force 25 percent of these weeks. Women’s labor force participation
generally grows with education level, although women at every educational level spent
fewer weeks in the labor force than men. Women without a high school diploma spent almost
half (47 percent) of all weeks between age 18 and age 46 out of the labor force, while
those with a high school diploma were out of the labor force 24 percent of weeks, those
with some college were out of the labor force 22 percent of weeks, and those with a
bachelor’s degree and higher were out of the labor force only 19 percent of weeks. Among
men in those ages, those without a high school diploma were out of the labor force about
20 percent of weeks and those in the other three education categories were out of the
labor force only 8 to 10 percent of weeks. (See table 3.)

Women at every age spent fewer weeks in the labor force than men. From ages 18 to 24,
men spent 18 percent of weeks out of the labor force, and women spent 30 percent of weeks
out of the labor force. This age range was a period when large proportions of men and
women attended college or received vocational training and, as a result, spent less time
in the labor force. From ages 25 to 39, these men spent only 7 percent of weeks out of
the labor force, while women spent between 22 and 26 percent of weeks out of the labor
force. Compared to men, women spent an average of two to three times as many weeks out
of the labor force as their male counterparts after age 24. (See table 4.)

The percentage of weeks in which men are employed peaks at 89 percent in the 35 to 39
age category, and then decreases slightly to 87 percent in the 40 to 46 age group. The
percentage of weeks in which women are employed increases from 63 percent in the 18 to
24 age group to a maximum of 76 percent in the 40 to 46 age group. (See table 4.)

Percent Growth in Real Earnings

The inflation-adjusted earnings of these workers increased most rapidly while they were
young. Hourly earnings grew by an average of 6.3 percent per year from ages 18 to 24 and
4.1 percent per year from ages 25 to 29. The earnings growth rate slowed to 3.2 percent
annually from age 30 to age 34 and 3.1 percent annually from age 35 to age 39. From ages
40 to 46, hourly earnings grew an average of .9 percent per year. Earnings growth was
minimal (.2 percent) for 40- to 46-year-olds with less than a high school diploma.
This pattern in earnings growth reflects, in part, the state of the U.S. economy during
the years in which survey participants were in each age group. For men and women in
nearly every age category, growth rates in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings generally
were higher for workers with more education. (See table 5.)




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained using data from the first 24 
rounds of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). This sur-
vey is conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of 
Chicago and the Center for Human Resource Research at The Ohio State University 
under the direction and sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor’s 
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
   
Sample
   
   The NLSY79 is a nationally representative sample of 12,686 young men and 
women who were 14 to 22 years of age when first surveyed in 1979. This sur-
vey sample was initially composed of three subsamples:
  
   --A cross-sectional sample of 6,111 youths that was designed to represent 
     the noninstitutionalized, civilian population of young people living in 
     the U.S. in 1979 and born between Jan. 1, 1957, and Dec. 31, 1964.

   --A supplemental sample of 5,295 youths designed to oversample noninsti-
     tutionalized, civilian black, Hispanic or Latino, and economically dis-
     advantaged nonblack, non-Hispanic youths living in the U.S. in 1979 and 
     born between Jan. 1, 1957, and Dec. 31, 1964.
  
   --A military sample of 1,280 youths born between Jan. 1, 1957, and Dec. 31, 
     1961, and enlisted in the Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps as of 
     September 30, 1978.

   In 1985, the military sample was discontinued, and, in 1991, the economic-
ally disadvantaged nonblack, non-Hispanic youths were dropped from the sup-
plemental sample. As a result, the NLSY79 sample now includes 9,964 individ-
uals from the cross-sectional sample and the black and Hispanic 
supplemental samples. (This sample size is not adjusted for sample members 
who have died.)
  
  Individuals were surveyed annually from 1979 to 1994 and biennially since 
1994. In 2010-11, 7,565 individuals responded to the survey, for a retention 
rate of 76 percent. Only these individuals are included in the estimates in 
this release. All results are weighted using the 2010-11 survey weights that 
correct for the oversampling, interview nonresponse, and permanent attrition 
from the survey. When weighted, the estimates represent all persons born in 
the years 1957 to 1964 and living in the U.S. when the survey began in 1979. 
Not represented by the survey are U.S. immigrants who were born from 1957 
to 1964 and moved to the U.S. after 1979.
   
Work history data
   
   The total number of jobs that people hold during their work life is an 
easy concept to understand but a difficult one to measure. Reliable esti-
mates require a survey that interviews the same people over the course of
their entire work life and also keeps track of all the jobs they ever held. 
The NLSY79 tracks the number of jobs that people have held, but the re-
spondents in this survey are still in their prime working years, ages 45 to 53 
in 2010-11, and have many years of work life ahead of them. As the cohort 
continues to age, however, more complete information will become available.
  
  A unique feature of the NLSY79 is that it collects the beginning and end-
ing dates of all jobs held by a respondent so that a longitudinal history 
can be constructed of each respondent’s work experiences. The NLSY79 work 
history data provide a week-by-week work record of each respondent from 
Jan. 1, 1978, through the most recent survey date. These data contain in-
formation on the respondent’s labor force status each week, the usual hours 
worked per week at all jobs, and earnings for all jobs. If a respondent 
worked at more than one job in any week, hours and earnings are obtained 
for additional jobs. When a respondent who missed one or more consecutive 
survey rounds is interviewed again, he is asked to provide information 
about all time since the last interview.

Interaction between time and age in a longitudinal survey
  
   Because the NLSY79 is a longitudinal survey, meaning the same people
are surveyed over time, the ages of the respondents change with each sur-
vey round. It is important to keep in mind this inherent link between the 
calendar years and the ages of the respondents. For example, table 5 re-
ports earnings growth from age 25 to age 29. The youngest respondents in 
the sample (birth year 1964) were these ages during 1989-93, whereas the 
oldest respondents (birth year 1957) were these ages during 1982-86.

   Although participants in the NLSY79 were ages 45 to 53 during the 2010-
11 interviews, this release covers only the period while the respondents 
were ages 18 to 46. The reason for not including older ages is that the 
sample sizes were still too small to provide statistically reliable esti-
mates for age groups older than 46. As the NLSY79 continues to be adminis-
tered and the respondents age, subsequent rounds of the survey will enable 
analyses to be conducted for older age groups.

   As with age, the educational attainment of individuals may change from 
year to year. In the tables and analysis presented in this report, educa-
tional attainment is defined as of the 2010-11 survey. This definition is 
used even when data on age and educational attainment are presented together. 
For example, table 1 reports the number of jobs held during different age 
categories. Suppose that a respondent had completed a bachelor’s degree at 
age 30. That respondent would be included in the "Bachelor’s degree or more"
educational category in all age categories shown on the table, even
though he or she did not have a bachelor’s degree at any point from 
age 18 to age 29.

Definitions

   Job. A job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particu-
lar employer. Jobs are therefore employer-based, not position-based. If a 
respondent indicates that he or she left a job but in a subsequent survey 
returned to the same job, it is counted as a new job. For example, if an 
individual worked in a retail establishment during the summer, quit at the 
end of summer to return to school, and then resumed working for the same 
employer the following spring, this sequence would count as two jobs, ra-
ther than one. For self-employed workers, each "new" job is defined by the 
individuals themselves.
  
   Unemployment. If respondents indicate a gap between employers, they
are asked how many of those weeks they spent searching for employment or
on layoff. For that number of weeks, they are considered unemployed. For
the remaining weeks, they are coded as not in the labor force. No probing 
for intensity of job search is done.
   
   Usual earnings. Respondents can report earnings over any time frame
(hour, day, week, month, year). For those who do not report an hourly
wage, one is constructed using usual hours worked over that time frame.
Wages greater than $100 per hour and less than $1 per hour (in January 1979 
dollars, 100=283.70 in December 2010 dollars) were not included in the 
analysis of earnings growth because the reported earnings levels were almost 
certainly in error. For the same reason, individuals who had inflation-adjusted 
earnings growth greater than 100 percent were not included in the analysis. 
These exclusions from the analysis affected 40 respondents.
   
   Race and ethnicity groups. In this release, the findings are reported
for non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics or Latinos.
These three groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race
groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not shown separately 
because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently 
large to provide statistically reliable estimates. In other BLS publica-
tions, estimates usually are published for whites, blacks, and Hispanics 
or Latinos, but these groups are not mutually exclusive. The term "His-
panic or Latino" is considered to be an ethnicity group, and Hispanics 
or Latinos can be of any race. Most other BLS publications include Hispan-
ics or Latinos in the white and black race groups in addition to the His-
panic or Latino ethnicity group.

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired 
individuals upon request. Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Ser-
vice:  (800) 877-8339.




Table 1. Number of jobs held by individuals from age 18 to age 46 in 1978-2010 by educational attainment,
sex, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and age
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                         
                                            Average number of jobs for persons ages 18 to 46 in 1978-2010
         Characteristic                                                                                  
                                                          Ages 18  Ages 25  Ages 30   Ages 35   Ages 40  
                                              Total (1)    to 24    to 29    to 34     to 39     to 46   
                                                                                                         
Total ...................................       11.3        5.5      3.0      2.4       2.1       2.1    
 Less than a high school diploma ........       11.9        5.0      3.0      2.5       2.1       2.0    
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..       10.5        5.0      2.8      2.4       2.0       2.0    
 Some college or associate degree .......       11.8        5.7      3.1      2.5       2.2       2.2    
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......       11.8        6.2      3.1      2.4       2.1       2.1    
                                                                                                         
Men .....................................       11.5        5.7      3.1      2.6       2.1       2.1    
 Less than a high school diploma ........       13.1        5.9      3.6      2.8       2.2       2.2    
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..       10.9        5.3      3.1      2.5       2.0       2.1    
 Some college or associate degree .......       11.8        6.0      3.2      2.6       2.1       2.1    
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......       11.4        5.9      2.9      2.5       2.2       2.1    
                                                                                                         
Women ...................................       11.1        5.3      2.8      2.3       2.0       2.1    
 Less than a high school diploma ........       10.1        3.8      2.3      2.2       2.0       1.8    
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..       10.2        4.7      2.5      2.2       2.0       2.0    
 Some college or associate degree .......       11.8        5.5      3.0      2.4       2.2       2.3    
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......       12.2        6.4      3.2      2.3       1.9       2.1    
                                                                                                         
White non-Hispanic ......................       11.4        5.7      3.0      2.4       2.1       2.1    
 Less than a high school diploma ........       12.5        5.5      3.2      2.7       2.2       2.1    
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..       10.5        5.2      2.8      2.4       2.0       2.0    
 Some college or associate degree .......       11.9        5.9      3.0      2.4       2.1       2.1    
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......       11.8        6.3      3.1      2.4       2.0       2.1    
                                                                                                         
Black non-Hispanic ......................       10.9        4.6      2.9      2.5       2.1       2.2    
 Less than a high school diploma ........       10.3        3.8      2.6      2.1       1.9       1.8    
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..       10.8        4.3      2.8      2.5       2.1       2.2    
 Some college or associate degree .......       11.5        5.2      3.1      2.6       2.4       2.4    
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......       11.1        5.4      3.1      2.7       2.1       2.4    
                                                                                                         
Hispanic or Latino ......................       11.2        4.9      2.8      2.3       2.1       2.2    
 Less than a high school diploma ........       11.2        4.5      2.8      2.2       2.0       2.2    
 High school graduates, no college (2) ..       10.7        5.0      2.7      2.4       2.0       2.2    
 Some college or associate degree .......       11.6        5.1      3.1      2.3       2.2       2.4    
 Bachelor's degree and higher (3) .......       12.2        5.4      2.9      2.6       2.1       2.0    
                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        
   1 Jobs that were held in more than one of the age categories were counted in each appropriate column,
but only once in the total column.
   2 Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   3 Includes persons with a bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral degrees.
   NOTE: This table excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978, or who had not yet
turned age 47 when interviewed in 2010-11.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women who were born in the years
1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979. These individuals were ages 45 to 53 in
2010-11. Educational attainment is defined as of the 2010-11 survey. Race and Hispanic or Latino
ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in
the overall totals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is not
sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Table 2. Duration of employment relationships with a single employer for all jobs started
from age 18 to age 46 in 1978-2010 by age at start of job, sex, race, and Hispanic or
Latino ethnicity
                                                                                         
                               Cumulative percent distribution of duration        Percent
                                  of completed employment relationships           of jobs
 Age at the start of job                                                          ongoing
   and characteristic      Less than  Less than  Less than  Less than  Less than  in 2010
                            1 year    2 years    5 years    10 years   15 years          
                                                                                         
Ages 18 to 24 ...........    69.1       82.9       92.9       96.4       97.5       1.5  
                                                                                         
  Men ...................    69.3       83.0       92.6       96.2       97.3       1.6  
  Women .................    68.9       82.9       93.1       96.5       97.7       1.4  
                                                                                         
  White non-Hispanic ....    68.8       82.8       92.7       96.2       97.4       1.6  
  Black non-Hispanic ....    71.4       84.7       93.8       97.0       98.0       1.2  
  Hispanic or Latino ....    69.2       82.6       92.6       96.4       97.6       1.4  
                                                                                         
Ages 25 to 29 ...........    56.2       73.1       87.0       93.0       95.1       3.7  
                                                                                         
  Men ...................    55.8       72.5       86.0       92.0       94.2       4.4  
  Women .................    56.7       73.8       88.2       94.1       96.0       2.9  
                                                                                         
  White non-Hispanic ....    54.7       71.9       86.3       92.6       94.8       3.8  
  Black non-Hispanic ....    61.2       77.5       89.8       94.3       95.9       3.0  
  Hispanic or Latino ....    60.4       76.1       88.1       93.7       95.8       3.3  
                                                                                         
Ages 30 to 34 ...........    47.8       64.7       82.8       90.9       93.5       6.0  
                                                                                         
  Men ...................    47.5       64.3       82.3       90.2       92.9       6.7  
  Women .................    48.0       65.1       83.4       91.8       94.2       5.3  
                                                                                         
  White non-Hispanic ....    46.0       62.8       81.7       90.3       93.1       6.5  
  Black non-Hispanic ....    53.6       71.2       86.6       93.5       95.7       3.9  
  Hispanic or Latino ....    50.5       68.1       85.0       92.3       94.3       5.3  
                                                                                         
Ages 35 to 39 ...........    37.6       55.4       76.3       86.0       (1)       12.0  
                                                                                         
  Men ...................    36.5       55.0       75.4       85.4       (1)       12.3  
  Women .................    38.7       55.7       77.1       86.6       (1)       11.7  
                                                                                         
  White non-Hispanic ....    36.2       53.7       74.7       84.9       (1)       12.9  
  Black non-Hispanic ....    42.2       61.0       82.1       90.0       (1)        8.5  
  Hispanic or Latino ....    41.7       58.7       79.8       88.3       (1)       10.2  
                                                                                         
Ages 40 to 46 ...........    32.8       50.8       69.0       (1)        (1)       25.8  
                                                                                         
  Men ...................    31.3       49.0       68.2       (1)        (1)       26.8  
  Women .................    34.2       52.5       69.8       (1)        (1)       24.9  
                                                                                         
  White non-Hispanic ....    31.7       49.4       67.2       (1)        (1)       27.5  
  Black non-Hispanic ....    36.6       55.7       75.2       (1)        (1)       20.1  
  Hispanic or Latino ....    34.4       52.6       74.5       (1)        (1)       21.2  
                                                                                         
                                                                                         
   1 Estimates are not presented for these categories because most sample members were
not yet old enough at the time of the 2010-11 survey to have completed jobs of these
durations.
   NOTE: The age category of 18 to 24 excludes individuals who turned age 18 before
January 1, 1978.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women who were
born in the years 1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979. These
individuals were ages 45 to 53 in 2010-11. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups
are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the
overall totals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey
sample is not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Table 3. Percent of weeks individuals were employed, unemployed, or not in the labor
force from age 18 to age 46 in 1978-2010 by educational attainment, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
                                                                                    
                                                   Percent of total weeks while     
                                                    ages 18 to 46 in 1978-2010      
            Characteristic                                                          
                                                                            Not in  
                                               Employed    Unemployed   labor force 
                                                                                    
Total, ages 18 to 46 in 1978-2010 ..........     77.7         4.4           17.2    
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     59.9         7.9           31.3    
  High school graduates, no college (1) ....     79.1         4.8           15.4    
  Some college or associate degree .........     79.4         4.1           15.7    
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2)..........     82.4         2.5           14.5    
                                                                                    
Men ........................................     84.3         4.7           10.2    
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     69.8         9.1           19.9    
  High school graduates, no college (1) ....     86.6         4.8            7.8    
  Some college or associate degree .........     87.0         4.1            8.2    
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     86.6         2.6           10.1    
                                                                                    
Women ......................................     70.7         4.0           24.6    
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     46.3         6.2           47.0    
  High school graduates, no college (1) ....     70.4         4.8           24.2    
  Some college or associate degree .........     72.9         4.0           22.2    
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     78.3         2.3           18.9    
                                                                                    
White non-Hispanic .........................     79.9         3.6           15.9    
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     63.6         6.9           28.6    
  High school graduates, no college (1) ....     81.7         3.9           13.8    
  Some college or associate degree .........     80.1         3.4           15.6    
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     82.6         2.3           14.6    
                                                                                    
Black non-Hispanic .........................     68.7         8.4           22.0    
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     48.4        11.4           39.2    
  High school graduates, no college (1) ....     68.1         9.5           21.5    
  Some college or associate degree .........     76.3         7.2           15.8    
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     81.0         4.6           13.6    
                                                                                    
Hispanic  or Latino ........................     72.5         5.2           21.2    
  Less than a high school diploma ..........     62.4         7.9           28.8    
  High school graduates, no college (1) ....     73.5         5.0           20.4    
  Some college or associate degree .........     78.2         3.7           17.0    
  Bachelor's degree and higher (2) .........     80.3         3.2           15.7    
                                                                                    
   1 Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   2 Includes persons with a bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral degrees.
   NOTE: This table excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978, or
who had not yet turned age 47 when interviewed in 2010-11.
Totals do not add to 100 percent due to a small number of respondents whose
employment status cannot be determined for all weeks.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women who were
born in the years 1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979.
These individuals were ages 45 to 53 in 2010-11. Educational attainment is defined
as of the 2010-11 survey. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually
exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the overall
totals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is
not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Table 4.  Percent of weeks individuals were employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force 
from age 18 to age 46 in 1978-2010 by age, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

                                                                 Percent of total weeks
 Age and characteristic                                                             Not in
                                                         Employed    Unemployed   labor force

Total, ages 18 to 46 in 1978-2010 (1) ...............      77.7         4.4          17.2
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ....................      68.0         7.9          23.6
  Ages 25 to 29 in 1982-1993 ........................      78.4         4.5          16.5
  Ages 30 to 34 in 1987-1998 ........................      79.9         3.5          16.0
  Ages 35 to 39 in 1992-2003 ........................      82.1         2.8          14.5
  Ages 40 to 46 in 1997-2010 (3) ....................      81.2         3.0          14.6

Men, ages 18 to 46 in 1978-2010 (1) .................      84.3         4.7          10.2
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ....................      73.0         8.8          17.6
  Ages 25 to 29 in 1982-1993 ........................      86.9         5.1           7.2
  Ages 30 to 34 in 1987-1998 ........................      88.3         3.8           7.2
  Ages 35 to 39 in 1992-2003 ........................      89.0         2.9           7.4
  Ages 40 to 46 in 1997-2010 (3) ....................      86.7         3.2           8.9

Women, ages 18 to 46 in 1978-2010 (1) ...............      70.7         4.0          24.6
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ....................      62.8         6.9          29.9
  Ages 25 to 29 in 1982-1993 ........................      69.5         3.9          26.2
  Ages 30 to 34 in 1987-1998 ........................      71.1         3.2          25.2
  Ages 35 to 39 in 1992-2003 ........................      74.9         2.7          21.8
  Ages 40 to 46 in 1997-2010 (3) ....................      75.5         2.8          20.6

White non-Hispanic, ages 18 to 46 in 1978-2010 (1) ..      79.9         3.6          15.9
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ....................      70.9         6.8          21.8
  Ages 25 to 29 in 1982-1993 ........................      80.7         3.7          15.1
  Ages 30 to 34 in 1987-1998 ........................      81.8         2.8          14.8
  Ages 35 to 39 in 1992-2003 ........................      83.7         2.2          13.5
  Ages 40 to 46 in 1997-2010 (3) ....................      82.7         2.5          13.8

Black non-Hispanic, ages 18 to 46 in 1978-2010 (1) ..      68.7         8.4          22.0
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ....................      55.5        13.4          30.6
  Ages 25 to 29 in 1982-1993 ........................      69.4         8.8          21.1
  Ages 30 to 34 in 1987-1998 ........................      71.5         7.1          20.7
  Ages 35 to 39 in 1992-2003 ........................      75.6         5.6          18.2
  Ages 40 to 46 in 1997-2010 (3) ....................      74.6         5.8          18.2

Hispanic or Latino, ages 18 to 46 in 1978-2010 (1) ..      72.5         5.2          21.2
  Ages 18 to 24 in 1978-1988 (2) ....................      63.2         8.6          27.6
  Ages 25 to 29 in 1982-1993 ........................      71.4         5.5          22.4
  Ages 30 to 34 in 1987-1998 ........................      74.7         4.1          20.3
  Ages 35 to 39 in 1992-2003 ........................      77.5         3.8          17.7
  Ages 40 to 46 in 1997-2010 (3) ....................      77.7         3.7          16.9

   1 This category excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978, or who
had not yet turned age 47 when interviewed in 2010-11.
   2 This category excludes individuals who turned age 18 before January 1, 1978.
   3 This  category excludes individuals who had not yet turned age 47 when interviewed
in 2010-11.
   NOTE: Totals do not add to 100 percent due to a small number of respondents whose
employment status cannot be determined for all weeks.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women who were
born in the years 1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979. These
individuals were ages 45 to 53 in 2010-11. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups
are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the
overall totals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample
is not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Table 5.  Average annual percent growth in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings from 1978-2010
by educational attainment, sex, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and age

                                            Average annual percent growth in hourly earnings

         Characteristic                        Ages 18  Ages 25  Ages 30  Ages 35  Ages 40
                                                to 24    to 29    to 34    to 39    to 46

Total .....................................      6.3      4.1      3.2      3.1      0.9
  Less than a high school diploma  ........      3.2      2.5      1.6      3.1       .2
  High school graduates, no college (1)....      4.9      2.5      2.7      2.8       .7
  Less than a bachelor's degree ...........      6.3      4.7      2.8      2.7       .7
  Bachelor's degree or more (2)............      9.2      6.3      4.8      3.8      1.6
 
Men .......................................      6.9      4.5      3.5      3.1       .9
  Less than a high school diploma  ........      3.8      2.1      1.6      3.2       .3
  High school graduates, no college (1)....      5.9      3.0      2.5      2.6       .7
  Less than a bachelor's degree ...........      7.3      5.5      3.5      2.4       .6
  Bachelor's degree or more (2)............      9.5      7.2      5.8      4.2      1.7

Women .....................................      5.6      3.6      2.9      3.1       .9
  Less than a high school diploma .........      2.2      3.3      1.6      2.8       .0
  High school graduates, no college (1)....      3.7      1.9      3.0      3.0       .7
  Less than a bachelor's degree ...........      5.4      4.1      2.1      2.9       .9
  Bachelor's degree or more (2)............      8.9      5.3      3.8      3.4      1.4

White non-Hispanic ........................      6.7      4.2      3.2      3.1      1.0
  Less than a high school diploma .........      3.8      2.4      1.5      2.9       .3
  High school graduates, no college (1)....      5.2      2.4      2.6      2.9       .9
  Less than a bachelor's degree ...........      6.3      5.0      2.7      2.6       .6
  Bachelor's degree or more (2)............      9.4      6.4      4.9      3.9      1.5

Black non-Hispanic ........................      4.4      3.8      3.1      2.8       .4
  Less than a high school diploma .........      1.9      2.9      1.3      4.0      -.9
  High school graduates, no college (1)....      3.1      3.2      3.4      2.2      -.3
  Less than a bachelor's degree ...........      5.7      3.8      2.7      3.2      1.3
  Bachelor's degree or more (2)............      7.4      5.9      4.6      2.7      1.6

Hispanic or Latino.........................      5.7      3.5      3.2      2.9      1.5
  Less than a high school diploma .........      2.8      1.8      2.5      2.5      1.2
  High school graduates, no college (1)....      5.5      3.0      3.3      3.2       .5
  Less than a bachelor's degree ...........      7.2      3.9      3.2      2.4      1.6
  Bachelor's degree or more (2)............      9.0      6.3      3.8      4.0      3.8

   1 Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
   2 Includes persons with a bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral degrees.
   NOTE: The first column excludes individuals who turned age 18 before 1978.  The last
column excludes individuals who were not yet age 47 when interviewed in 2010-11.
Growth rates were calculated on hourly earnings adjusted for price-level changes
using the CPI-U-RS.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women who were
born in the years 1957-64 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979. These
individuals were ages 45 to 53 in the 2010-11 survey. Educational attainment is defined
as of the 2010-11 survey. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually
exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the overall
totals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is
not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.




Last Modified Date: July 25, 2012
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