Economic News Release

Employee Tenure News Release


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, September 14, 2010           USDL-10-1278

Technical information:  (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                        EMPLOYEE TENURE IN 2010


The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their 
current employer was 4.4 in January 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
reported today. This measure, referred to as employee tenure, was 4.1 years 
in January 2008. The increase in tenure among those at work reflects, in part, 
relatively large job losses among less-senior workers in the most recent 
recession.

Information on employee tenure has been obtained from supplemental questions 
to the Current Population Survey (CPS) every 2 years since 1996. These data are 
collected as part of the Displaced Worker Supplement, which is sponsored by the 
Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. The CPS 
is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households that provides information on the
labor force status of the civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over. 
The questions about employee tenure measure how long workers had been with their 
current employer at the time of the survey. A number of factors can affect the 
median tenure of workers, including changes in the age profile among workers, as 
well as changes in the number of hires and separations. (See the Technical Note.)

Demographic Characteristics

Median employee tenure (the point at which half of all workers had more tenure 
and half had less tenure) was generally higher among older workers than younger 
ones. For example, the median tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 (10.0 years) was 
more than three times that of workers ages 25 to 34 (3.1 years). A larger percent-
age of older workers than younger workers had 10 years or more of tenure. For 
instance, more than half of all workers ages 60 to 64 were employed for at least 
10 years with their current employer in January, compared with only 13 per-
cent of individuals ages 30 to 34. (See tables 1 and 2.)

In January 2010, median tenure for men was 4.6 years, up from 4.2 years in January
2008. For women, median tenure in January 2010 was 4.2 years, slightly higher
than the median (3.9 years) in January 2008. Twenty-nine percent of wage and 
salary workers age 16 and over had 10 years or more of tenure with their current 
employer in January 2010. Among men, 30 percent had at least 10 years of tenure 
with their current employer, compared with 28 percent among women. (See tables 1
and 3.)

Among the major race and ethnicity groups, 20 percent of Hispanics had been with 
their current employer for 10 years or more in January, compared with 30 percent
of whites, 26 percent of blacks, and 21 percent of Asians. (See table 3.) The
shorter tenure among Hispanic workers can be explained, in part, by their relative
youth. Forty-six percent of Hispanic workers were between the ages of 16 and
34; by comparison, the proportions for whites (35 percent), blacks (38 percent),
and Asians (36 percent) were smaller.

The share of wage and salary workers with a year or less of tenure with their 
current employer was 19 percent in January 2010, lower than the proportion in Jan-
uary 2008. This short-tenured group includes new entrants and reentrants to the
workforce, job losers who found new jobs during the previous year, and workers 
who had voluntarily changed employers during the previous year. Younger workers 
were more likely than older workers to be short-tenured employees. For example, in
January 2010, 67 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds had tenure of 12 months or less
with their current employer, compared with 8 percent of workers ages 55 to 64.
(See table 3.)

Industry

In January, wage and salary workers in the public sector had nearly double the 
tenure of their counterparts in the private sector, 7.2 and 4.0 years, respectively. 
(See table 5.) The longer tenure among workers in the public sector is explained, 
in part, by the age profile of government workers. Seventy-four percent of govern-
ment workers were ages 35 and over, compared with 62 percent of private wage and 
salary workers.

Within the private sector, workers in manufacturing had the highest median tenure 
among the major industries (6.1 years). In contrast, workers in leisure and hos-
pitality had the lowest median tenure (2.5 years). These differences in tenure 
reflect many factors, including the varying age distribution of workers across 
industries. On average, workers in manufacturing tend to be older than those in 
leisure and hospitality. (See table 5.)

Occupation

In January, workers in management, professional, and related  occupations had
the highest median tenure (5.2 years) among the major occupational groups. Within 
this group, employees in management occupations (6.1 years) and in architecture 
and engineering occupations (5.7 years) had the longest tenure. Workers in ser-
vice occupations, who are generally younger than those employed in management, 
professional, and related occupations, had the lowest median tenure (3.1 years). 
Among employees working in service jobs, food service workers had the lowest 
median tenure, at 2.3 years. (See table 6.)





Technical Note

The data in this release were collected through a supplement to the
January 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS, which is con-
ducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS), is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households that provides
information on the labor force status, demographics, and other char-
acteristics of the nation's civilian noninstitutional population age 
16 and over.

The January 2010 CPS supplement obtained information on worker dis-
placement and workers' tenure with their current employer. The data 
on worker displacement are available online at www.bls.gov/cps/
lfcharacteristics.htm#displaced.

Revised population controls are introduced periodically in the CPS,
which can affect the comparability of labor force levels. Data for
1996 and 1998 are based on population controls from the 1990 census.
Data beginning in 2000 reflect the introduction of Census 2000 popu-
lation controls and are not strictly comparable with data for prior 
years. Beginning in 2004, population controls are updated annually. 
Additional information about population control adjustments is avail-
able on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#pop.

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

Reliability of the estimates

Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsam-
pling error.  When a sample, rather than the entire population, is 
surveyed, there is a chance that the sample estimates may differ from 
the "true" population values they represent. The exact difference, or 
sampling error, varies depending on the particular sample selected, 
and this variability is measured by the standard error of the esti-
mate. There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that 
an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 stan-
dard errors from the "true" population value because of sampling error. 
BLS analyses  are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confi-
dence. The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsam-
pling error can occur for many reasons, including the failure to sample 
a segment of the population, inability to obtain information for all 
respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of respondents to 
provide correct information, and errors made in the collection or pro-
cessing of the data.

A full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and informa-
tion on estimating standard errors is available at www.bls.gov/cps/
documentation.htm#reliability.

Tenure concepts and questions

Employee tenure is a measure of how long wage and salary workers had
been with their current employer at the time of the survey. Many of
the estimates shown in this report are medians; the median is the
point at which half of all workers had more tenure and half had less
tenure. Data refer to the sole or principal job of full- and part-time
workers.

Wage and salary workers receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, 
payment in kind, or piece rates.  The group includes employees in both
the private and public sectors but excludes all self-employed persons,
both those with incorporated businesses and those with unincorporated
businesses.

In the January 2010 CPS supplement, questions on tenure were asked of
all employed persons.  The main question was: "How long has ... been
working continuously for (fill in name of present employer)?"

                                _____ Days
                                _____ Weeks
                                _____ Months
                                _____ Years

For responses of "1 year" or "2 years," a follow-up question was asked: 
"Could you please give the exact number of months?"

The purpose of the follow-up question is to obtain more precise infor-
mation on workers who had been with their current employer for a rela-
tively short time. This follow-up question was included for the first 
time in the February 1996 CPS supplement on worker displacement and 
tenure. CPS supplements that obtained information on tenure in January 
of 1983, 1987, and 1991 did not include the follow-up question. In 
those surveys, responses of 1 year or more could be coded only as the 
nearest full year, and responses of less than a year were coded as the 
nearest full month.

Prior to January 1983, CPS supplements on tenure asked wage and salary
workers, "When did ... start working at (his/her) present job?" For
wage and salary workers, the meaning of the term "job" is ambiguous.
For example, a worker who had been employed at a particular company
for 10 years and had been promoted to a managerial position 1 year
prior to the survey may have been counted as having 10 years or 1 year
of tenure, depending on whether the respondent interpreted the question 
to mean tenure with the current employer or tenure in the managerial 
position. To rectify this ambiguity, the wording of the question was 
changed in January 1983 to specify the length of time a worker had been 
with his or her current employer. The change resulted in a break in his-
torical comparability.

Interpreting tenure data

Data on tenure have been used as a gauge of employment security, with
some observers regarding increases in tenure as a sign of improving
security and decreasing tenure as a sign of deteriorating security.
However, there are limitations to using the data in this way. For
example, during recessions or other periods of declining job security,
median tenure and the proportion of workers with long tenure could
rise because less-senior workers are more likely to lose their jobs
than are workers with longer tenure. During periods of economic
growth, median tenure and the proportion of workers with long tenure
could fall because more job opportunities are available for new en-
trants to the workforce and experienced workers have more opportuni-
ties to change employers and take better jobs. Tenure also could rise 
under improving economic conditions, however, as fewer layoffs occur 
and good job matches develop between workers and employers.

A changing age distribution among workers would also affect median
tenure. Since older workers are more likely to have long tenure with
their current employer than younger workers, aging baby boomers in the
workforce would provide upward pressure on overall median tenure.





Table 1.  Median years of tenure with current employer for employed wage and salary workers by age and
sex, selected years, 1996-2010
                                                                                                      
                                                                                                      
         Age and sex           February February February  January  January  January  January  January
                                 1996     1998     2000     2002     2004     2006     2008     2010  
                                                                                                      
                                                                                                      
            TOTAL                                                                                     
                                                                                                      
      16 years and over.......    3.8      3.6      3.5      3.7      4.0      4.0      4.1      4.4  
16 to 17 years................     .7       .6       .6       .7       .7       .6       .7       .7  
18 to 19 years................     .7       .7       .7       .8       .8       .7       .8      1.0  
20 to 24 years................    1.2      1.1      1.1      1.2      1.3      1.3      1.3      1.5  
25 years and over.............    5.0      4.7      4.7      4.7      4.9      4.9      5.1      5.2  
  25 to 34 years..............    2.8      2.7      2.6      2.7      2.9      2.9      2.7      3.1  
  35 to 44 years..............    5.3      5.0      4.8      4.6      4.9      4.9      4.9      5.1  
  45 to 54 years..............    8.3      8.1      8.2      7.6      7.7      7.3      7.6      7.8  
  55 to 64 years..............   10.2     10.1     10.0      9.9      9.6      9.3      9.9     10.0  
  65 years and over...........    8.4      7.8      9.4      8.6      9.0      8.8     10.2      9.9  
                                                                                                      
             Men                                                                                      
                                                                                                      
      16 years and over.......    4.0      3.8      3.8      3.9      4.1      4.1      4.2      4.6  
16 to 17 years................     .6       .6       .6       .8       .7       .7       .7       .7  
18 to 19 years................     .7       .7       .7       .8       .8       .7       .8      1.0  
20 to 24 years................    1.2      1.2      1.2      1.4      1.3      1.4      1.4      1.6  
25 years and over.............    5.3      4.9      4.9      4.9      5.1      5.0      5.2      5.3  
  25 to 34 years..............    3.0      2.8      2.7      2.8      3.0      2.9      2.8      3.2  
  35 to 44 years..............    6.1      5.5      5.3      5.0      5.2      5.1      5.2      5.3  
  45 to 54 years..............   10.1      9.4      9.5      9.1      9.6      8.1      8.2      8.5  
  55 to 64 years..............   10.5     11.2     10.2     10.2      9.8      9.5     10.1     10.4  
  65 years and over...........    8.3      7.1      9.0      8.1      8.2      8.3     10.4      9.7  
                                                                                                      
            Women                                                                                     
                                                                                                      
      16 years and over.......    3.5      3.4      3.3      3.4      3.8      3.9      3.9      4.2  
16 to 17 years................     .7       .6       .6       .7       .6       .6       .6       .7  
18 to 19 years................     .7       .7       .7       .8       .8       .7       .8      1.0  
20 to 24 years................    1.2      1.1      1.0      1.1      1.3      1.2      1.3      1.5  
25 years and over.............    4.7      4.4      4.4      4.4      4.7      4.8      4.9      5.1  
  25 to 34 years..............    2.7      2.5      2.5      2.5      2.8      2.8      2.6      3.0  
  35 to 44 years..............    4.8      4.5      4.3      4.2      4.5      4.6      4.7      4.9  
  45 to 54 years..............    7.0      7.2      7.3      6.5      6.4      6.7      7.0      7.1  
  55 to 64 years..............   10.0      9.6      9.9      9.6      9.2      9.2      9.8      9.7  
  65 years and over...........    8.4      8.7      9.7      9.4      9.6      9.5      9.9     10.1
  
  
  


Table 2.  Percent of employed wage and salary workers 25 years and over who had 10 years or more of tenure
with their current employer by age and sex, selected years, 1996-2010
                                                                                                              
                                                                                                              
         Age and sex            February  February  February  January   January   January   January   January 
                                  1996      1998      2000      2002      2004      2006      2008      2010  
                                                                                                              
                                                                                                              
            TOTAL                                                                                             
                                                                                                              
      25 years and over.......    30.5      30.7      31.5      30.8      30.6      30.0      31.5      33.1  
25 to 29 years................     2.8       2.7       2.5       2.2       2.4       2.4       2.3       2.3  
30 to 34 years................    14.7      14.7      13.9      11.7      10.9      10.6      10.1      12.8  
35 to 39 years................    26.9      27.0      26.1      25.2      23.2      22.8      23.0      25.7  
40 to 44 years................    36.1      35.6      35.8      33.9      32.4      31.8      32.9      35.3  
45 to 49 years................    44.5      42.9      45.2      41.2      42.1      39.9      40.2      40.8  
50 to 54 years................    50.4      48.8      48.7      49.4      48.5      46.6      47.7      48.9  
55 to 59 years................    54.0      52.9      53.1      53.3      50.9      50.1      52.4      52.4  
60 to 64 years................    51.5      54.4      53.0      50.5      49.7      48.4      53.6      54.5  
65 years and over.............    47.4      45.0      49.8      48.0      48.7      48.5      56.3      53.1  
                                                                                                              
             Men                                                                                              
                                                                                                              
      25 years and over.......    33.1      32.7      33.4      32.6      32.4      31.1      32.9      34.3  
25 to 29 years................     3.3       3.1       3.0       2.6       2.7       2.6       2.4       3.1  
30 to 34 years................    15.6      15.3      15.1      13.0      11.9      11.6      11.3      14.3  
35 to 39 years................    30.5      29.7      29.4      27.2      24.9      24.7      25.4      27.2  
40 to 44 years................    41.7      39.1      40.2      37.4      36.2      34.8      35.8      37.5  
45 to 49 years................    50.8      47.4      49.0      45.4      48.1      42.9      43.5      43.7  
50 to 54 years................    54.9      52.8      51.6      54.0      53.0      49.7      50.4      51.3  
55 to 59 years................    55.7      56.5      53.7      56.5      53.4      51.0      54.9      53.6  
60 to 64 years................    50.4      55.7      52.4      48.4      48.5      48.1      52.4      56.8  
65 years and over.............    47.6      42.3      48.6      46.4      46.8      47.2      58.9      51.9  
                                                                                                              
            Women                                                                                             
                                                                                                              
      25 years and over.......    27.6      28.4      29.5      28.8      28.6      28.8      30.0      31.9  
25 to 29 years................     2.2       2.2       1.9       1.8       1.9       2.1       2.1       1.6  
30 to 34 years................    13.6      14.0      12.5      10.2       9.8       9.4       8.7      11.1  
35 to 39 years................    22.9      24.0      22.3      22.9      21.3      20.5      20.3      24.0  
40 to 44 years................    30.4      31.8      31.2      30.2      28.5      28.4      29.9      32.9  
45 to 49 years................    38.1      38.4      41.4      37.0      36.2      36.9      36.7      38.0  
50 to 54 years................    45.8      44.6      45.8      44.8      44.1      43.6      45.0      46.5  
55 to 59 years................    52.1      49.2      52.5      49.9      48.4      49.1      50.0      51.2  
60 to 64 years................    52.7      53.0      53.6      52.6      51.0      48.7      54.8      52.2  
65 years and over.............    47.2      47.7      51.0      49.7      50.7      49.9      53.8      54.3





Table 3.  Distribution of employed wage and salary workers by tenure with current employer, age, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, January 2010
                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                
                                                   Percent distribution by tenure with current employer         
  Age, sex, race, and         Number                                                                            
   Hispanic or Latino        employed                                                                           
        ethnicity         (in thousands)            12    13 to           3 to 4  5 to 9  10 to   15 to     20  
                                          Total   months    23   2 years  years   years     14      19    years 
                                                 or less  months                          years   years  or more
                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                
          TOTAL                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                
      16 years and over..    121,931      100.0    19.0     7.0     5.8    18.9    20.5    12.2     6.1    10.5 
16 to 19 years...........      3,984      100.0    66.7    12.7    10.7     9.6      .3     -       -       -   
20 years and over........    117,946      100.0    17.4     6.8     5.6    19.2    21.2    12.6     6.3    10.9 
  20 to 24 years.........     11,835      100.0    45.1    13.3    12.1    22.4     7.0      .1     -       -   
  25 to 34 years.........     27,756      100.0    23.3     9.8     7.5    27.7    24.4     6.6      .8     -   
  35 to 44 years.........     27,205      100.0    14.4     6.3     4.8    19.2    24.7    18.2     8.0     4.3 
  45 to 54 years.........     28,841      100.0    10.6     4.4     4.1    14.6    21.5    16.0     9.8    18.9 
  55 to 64 years.........     17,740      100.0     7.8     3.6     2.9    12.8    19.7    15.6     9.6    27.9 
  65 years and over......      4,570      100.0     6.9     2.9     2.7    12.9    21.4    15.3     9.8    28.0 
                                                                                                                
           Men                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                
      16 years and over..     61,495      100.0    18.5     6.6     5.7    18.3    20.8    12.4     6.1    11.5 
16 to 19 years...........      1,850      100.0    65.8    12.4    10.2    11.3      .3     -       -       -   
20 years and over........     59,646      100.0    17.1     6.4     5.5    18.5    21.4    12.8     6.3    11.9 
  20 to 24 years.........      5,746      100.0    44.2    12.7    11.9    22.8     8.3      .1     -       -   
  25 to 34 years.........     14,604      100.0    22.9     9.2     7.3    26.6    25.4     7.6     1.0     -   
  35 to 44 years.........     14,160      100.0    14.0     5.8     4.7    18.4    24.7    19.4     8.3     4.7 
  45 to 54 years.........     14,239      100.0    10.8     3.9     4.1    13.1    20.7    15.4    10.5    21.4 
  55 to 64 years.........      8,655      100.0     7.2     3.4     2.7    12.3    19.4    14.5     9.0    31.4 
  65 years and over......      2,242      100.0     6.8     4.0     2.5    13.9    20.9    15.3     7.0    29.6 
                                                                                                                
          Women                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                
      16 years and over..     60,435      100.0    19.4     7.4     5.9    19.5    20.2    12.0     6.0     9.5 
16 to 19 years...........      2,135      100.0    67.4    12.9    11.2     8.2      .3     -       -       -   
20 years and over........     58,300      100.0    17.7     7.2     5.7    19.9    21.0    12.4     6.2     9.9 
  20 to 24 years.........      6,089      100.0    46.0    13.9    12.2    22.0     5.8      .1     -       -   
  25 to 34 years.........     13,151      100.0    23.8    10.4     7.7    28.8    23.2     5.5      .5     -   
  35 to 44 years.........     13,045      100.0    14.8     7.0     4.8    20.1    24.7    17.0     7.7     3.9 
  45 to 54 years.........     14,602      100.0    10.5     4.9     4.1    16.1    22.3    16.6     9.2    16.4 
  55 to 64 years.........      9,085      100.0     8.2     3.7     3.1    13.3    20.0    16.7    10.2    24.6 
  65 years and over......      2,328      100.0     7.0     1.9     2.8    12.0    21.9    15.4    12.5    26.5 
                                                                                                                
         White                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                
    16 years and over....     99,768      100.0    18.6     7.1     5.7    18.4    20.4    12.4     6.4    11.1 
Men......................     51,081      100.0    18.1     6.7     5.6    17.7    20.6    12.6     6.5    12.3 
Women....................     48,687      100.0    19.2     7.6     5.8    19.1    20.1    12.1     6.3     9.8 
                                                                                                                
Black or African American                                                                                       
                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                
    16 years and over....     13,508      100.0    20.7     6.1     6.1    20.9    20.4    11.6     4.9     9.3 
Men......................      5,969      100.0    20.4     5.1     6.6    20.7    21.1    11.9     4.8     9.4 
Women....................      7,539      100.0    20.9     6.9     5.8    21.0    19.8    11.3     5.0     9.2 
                                                                                                                
         Asian                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                
    16 years and over....      5,598      100.0    18.1     7.0     6.8    22.1    25.4    11.8     3.3     5.5 
Men......................      2,922      100.0    18.7     7.1     5.8    23.6    25.1    11.5     3.5     4.7 
Women....................      2,677      100.0    17.4     6.8     7.8    20.5    25.7    12.2     3.2     6.4 
                                                                                                                
   Hispanic or Latino                                                                                           
       ethnicity                                                                                                
                                                                                                                
    16 years and over....     18,016      100.0    22.5     7.0     7.4    23.2    20.4     9.8     4.2     5.6 
Men......................     10,279      100.0    22.5     6.7     7.0    23.1    19.9    10.2     4.3     6.3 
Women....................      7,737      100.0    22.4     7.4     7.8    23.3    21.1     9.1     4.1     4.7 

  NOTE: Detail for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals
because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be
of any race. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Dash represents zero or rounds to zero.





Table 4.  Median years of tenure with current employer for employed wage and salary workers 25 years
and over by educational attainment, sex, and age, January 2010
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                            25 years and over                        
                                                                                                     
  Educational attainment and sex                                                                     
                                       Total    25 to 34   35 to 44   45 to 54   55 to 64   65 years 
                                                  years      years      years      years    and over 
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
    Total..........................     5.2        3.1        5.1        7.8       10.0        9.9   
Less than a high school diploma....     4.4        2.8        4.3        5.5        8.6        9.8   
High school graduates, no college..     5.4        3.1        5.1        7.7       10.0        9.7   
Some college, no degree............     5.2        3.1        5.1        7.6       10.2        9.6   
Associate degree...................     5.3        3.2        5.1        8.6       10.0       10.0   
College graduates..................     5.2        3.1        5.3        8.3       10.1       10.3   
  Bachelor's degree................     5.0        3.1        5.3        8.4        9.9        9.9   
  Master's degree..................     5.7        3.3        5.8        8.1       10.3       10.4   
  Doctoral or professional degree..     5.2        2.4        4.8        8.5       11.3       14.4   
                                                                                                     
    Men............................     5.3        3.2        5.3        8.5       10.4        9.7   
Less than a high school diploma....     4.5        3.0        4.5        6.7        8.1        8.5   
High school graduates, no college..     5.5        3.2        5.4        9.0       10.4        8.9   
Some college, no degree............     5.3        3.3        5.7        8.2       11.8        8.1   
Associate degree...................     5.6        3.4        5.3        9.8       10.5       10.1   
College graduates..................     5.4        3.1        5.3        8.8       10.4       10.5   
  Bachelor's degree................     5.3        3.1        5.6        8.8       10.3        9.8   
  Master's degree..................     5.6        3.5        5.2        7.9       10.2       12.6   
  Doctoral or professional degree..     6.1        2.2        4.4       10.0       13.3       18.8   
                                                                                                     
    Women..........................     5.1        3.0        4.9        7.1        9.7       10.1   
Less than a high school diploma....     4.3        2.6        3.8        4.8        9.3       10.2   
High school graduates, no college..     5.4        2.9        4.7        6.8        9.7       10.1   
Some college, no degree............     5.0        3.0        4.7        6.9        9.8       10.4   
Associate degree...................     5.2        3.1        4.9        8.0        9.6        9.9   
College graduates..................     5.0        3.0        5.4        7.8        9.8        9.7   
  Bachelor's degree................     4.7        3.0        5.0        7.8        9.2       10.3   
  Master's degree..................     5.8        3.1        6.6        8.3       10.4        9.1   
  Doctoral or professional degree..     4.5        2.5        5.3        5.2        9.5        8.0 





Table 5.  Median years of tenure with current employer for employed wage and salary workers by industry, selected
years, 2000-2010
                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                     
                        Industry                           February  January   January   January   January   January 
                                                             2000      2002      2004      2006      2008      2010  
                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                     
  Total, 16 years and over...............................     3.5       3.7       4.0       4.0       4.1       4.4  
                                                                                                                     
Private sector...........................................     3.2       3.3       3.5       3.6       3.6       4.0  
  Agriculture and related industries.....................     3.7       4.2       3.7       3.8       4.3       4.8  
  Nonagricultural industries.............................     3.2       3.3       3.5       3.6       3.6       4.0  
    Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction........     4.8       4.5       5.2       3.8       4.1       4.8  
    Construction.........................................     2.7       3.0       3.0       3.0       3.5       4.2  
    Manufacturing........................................     4.9       5.4       5.8       5.5       5.9       6.1  
      Durable goods manufacturing........................     4.8       5.5       6.0       5.6       6.1       6.6  
        Nonmetallic mineral products.....................     5.5       5.3       4.8       5.0       4.8       7.7  
        Primary metals and fabricated metal products.....     5.0       6.3       6.4       6.2       5.2       7.2  
        Machinery manufacturing..........................     5.3       6.8       6.4       6.6       6.0       8.3  
        Computers and electronic products................     3.9       4.7       5.2       5.9       6.7       5.9  
        Electrical equipment and appliances..............     5.0       5.5       9.8       6.2       6.2       5.0  
        Transportation equipment.........................     6.4       7.0       7.7       7.2       7.8       8.3  
        Wood products....................................     3.7       4.3       5.0       4.7       6.2       4.7  
        Furniture and fixtures...........................     4.4       4.7       4.7       4.2       5.2       5.0  
        Miscellaneous manufacturing......................     3.7       4.5       4.6       3.9       4.7       5.4  
      Nondurable goods manufacturing.....................     5.0       5.3       5.5       5.4       5.4       5.5  
        Food manufacturing...............................     4.6       5.0       4.9       5.2       4.3       4.7  
        Beverage and tobacco products....................     5.5       4.6       8.0       5.4       6.9       8.1  
        Textiles, apparel, and leather...................     4.7       5.0       5.0       4.4       4.6       4.7  
        Paper and printing...............................     5.1       6.2       6.9       6.3       5.5       6.8  
        Petroleum and coal products......................     9.5       9.8      11.4       5.0       4.3       5.1  
        Chemicals........................................     6.0       5.7       5.3       6.1       7.6       7.3  
        Plastics and rubber products.....................     4.6       5.3       5.7       5.0       5.3       7.4  
    Wholesale and retail trade...........................     2.7       2.8       3.1       3.1       3.2       3.6  
      Wholesale trade....................................     3.9       3.9       4.3       4.6       5.0       5.2  
      Retail trade.......................................     2.5       2.6       2.8       2.8       2.9       3.3  
    Transportation and utilities.........................     4.7       4.9       5.3       4.9       5.1       5.3  
      Transportation and warehousing.....................     4.0       4.3       4.7       4.3       4.6       5.0  
      Utilities..........................................    11.5      13.4      13.3      10.4      10.1       9.1  
    Information (1)......................................     3.4       3.3       4.3       4.8       4.7       5.0  
      Publishing, except Internet........................     4.2       4.8       4.7       5.3       4.7       5.6  
      Motion pictures and sound recording industries.....     1.6       2.3       2.2       1.9       1.9       3.8  
      Radio and television broadcasting and cable                                                                    
          subscriptions programming (2)..................     3.6       3.1       4.0       4.6       3.4       4.3  
      Telecommunications (2).............................     4.3       3.4       4.6       5.3       6.9       6.6  
    Financial activities.................................     3.5       3.6       3.9       4.0       4.5       4.6  
      Finance and insurance..............................     3.6       3.9       4.1       4.1       4.7       4.8  
        Finance..........................................     3.3       3.6       4.0       3.9       4.4       4.5  
        Insurance........................................     4.4       4.5       4.4       4.7       5.2       5.5  
      Real estate and rental and leasing.................     3.1       3.0       3.3       3.4       3.7       3.9  
        Real estate......................................     3.1       3.2       3.5       3.5       3.9       4.1  
        Rental and leasing services......................     3.0       2.2       2.9       3.1       3.0       3.3  
    Professional and business services...................     2.4       2.7       3.2       3.2       3.1       3.4  
      Professional and technical services................     2.6       3.1       3.6       3.8       3.3       4.0  
      Management, administrative, and waste services (1)      2.0       2.1       2.6       2.5       2.5       2.9  
        Administrative and support services..............     1.8       1.9       2.4       2.4       2.4       2.8  
        Waste management and remediation services........     3.6       4.3       3.4       4.1       4.1       2.9  
    Education and health services........................     3.4       3.5       3.6       4.0       4.1       4.1  
      Educational services...............................     3.2       3.6       3.8       4.0       4.3       4.4  
      Health care and social assistance..................     3.5       3.5       3.6       4.1       4.1       4.1  
        Hospitals........................................     5.1       4.9       4.7       5.2       5.4       5.3  
        Health services, except hospitals................     3.2       3.1       3.3       3.6       3.6       3.6  
        Social assistance................................     2.4       2.5       2.8       3.1       3.0       3.1  
    Leisure and hospitality..............................     1.7       1.8       2.0       1.9       2.1       2.5  
      Arts, entertainment, and recreation................     2.6       2.3       2.8       3.1       2.8       3.3  
      Accommodation and food services....................     1.5       1.6       1.9       1.6       1.9       2.3  
        Accommodation....................................     2.8       2.7       3.1       2.5       3.1       3.3  
        Food services and drinking places................     1.4       1.4       1.6       1.4       1.6       2.2  
    Other services.......................................     3.1       3.3       3.3       3.2       3.3       4.0  
      Other services, except private households..........     3.2       3.3       3.5       3.3       3.4       4.1  
        Repair and maintenance...........................     3.0       3.0       3.2       2.9       3.0       4.0  
        Personal and laundry services....................     2.7       2.8       3.4       2.8       3.2       3.5  
        Membership associations and organizations........     4.0       4.1       3.9       4.2       4.4       4.5  
      Other services, private households.................     3.0       2.7       2.3       2.8       2.8       3.4  
                                                                                                                     
Public sector............................................     7.1       6.7       6.9       6.9       7.2       7.2  
  Federal government.....................................    11.5      11.3      10.4       9.9       9.9       7.9  
  State government.......................................     5.5       5.4       6.4       6.3       6.5       6.4  
  Local government.......................................     6.7       6.2       6.4       6.6       7.1       7.5  

  1 Includes other industries, not shown separately.
  2 Data for these industries are not directly comparable over time due to industry classification changes in 2003
and 2009.
  NOTE: Beginning with data for January 2010, industries reflect the introduction of the 2007 census industry
classification system into the Current Population Survey. This industry classification system is derived from the
2007 North American Industry Classification System. No historical data have been revised.





Table 6.  Median years of tenure with current employer for employed wage and salary workers by occupation, selected
years, 2000-2010
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                       
                     Occupation                          February  January   January   January   January   January 
                                                           2000      2002      2004      2006      2008      2010  
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                       
   Total, 16 years and over.............................     3.5       3.7       4.0       4.0       4.1       4.4  
                                                                                                                       
Management, professional, and related occupations.......     4.6       4.6       5.0       5.2       5.1       5.2  
  Management, business, and financial operations                                                                    
    occupations.........................................     4.9       5.2       5.5       5.5       5.4       5.4  
     Management occupations.............................     5.3       5.6       6.0       6.0       6.0       6.1  
     Business and financial operations occupations......     4.0       4.2       4.5       4.7       4.6       4.6  
  Professional and related occupations..................     4.4       4.2       4.7       5.0       4.9       5.0  
     Computer and mathematical occupations..............     3.1       3.2       4.8       4.8       4.5       4.8  
     Architecture and engineering occupations...........     4.8       5.2       5.8       6.5       6.4       5.7  
     Life, physical, and social science occupations.....     4.6       4.3       4.2       4.7       4.0       4.6  
     Community and social services occupations..........     4.6       4.4       4.7       4.7       4.8       4.6  
     Legal occupations..................................     3.9       4.5       4.1       5.0       4.3       4.6  
     Education, training, and library occupations.......     5.4       4.8       5.1       5.3       5.4       5.6  
     Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media                                                                 
       occupations......................................     3.2       3.0       3.6       3.6       3.4       3.9  
     Healthcare practitioner and technical occupations..     4.6       4.3       4.5       4.8       4.9       4.8  
                                                                                                                    
Service occupations.....................................     2.5       2.4       2.8       2.8       2.8       3.1  
  Healthcare support occupations........................     2.8       2.5       2.9       3.1       3.1       3.3  
  Protective service occupations........................     5.6       5.4       5.5       5.5       5.9       5.0  
  Food preparation and serving related occupations......     1.6       1.5       1.8       1.8       2.0       2.3  
  Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance                                                                     
    occupations.........................................     3.4       3.0       3.3       3.7       3.6       4.1  
  Personal care and service occupations.................     2.3       2.3       2.7       2.4       2.6       2.9  
                                                                                                                    
Sales and office occupations............................     3.1       3.2       3.4       3.4       3.5       4.1  
  Sales and related occupations.........................     2.6       2.7       2.8       2.8       2.9       3.4  
  Office and administrative support occupations.........     3.4       3.6       4.0       4.1       4.2       4.7  
                                                                                                                    
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance                                                                    
  occupations...........................................     3.6       3.7       3.7       3.5       4.0       4.7  
  Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations............     2.8       4.0       3.7       3.6       3.1       4.2  
  Construction and extraction occupations...............     3.1       3.2       3.2       3.0       3.5       4.1  
  Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.....     4.7       4.6       4.7       4.6       5.0       5.7  
                                                                                                                    
Production, transportation, and material moving                                                                     
  occupations...........................................     3.9       4.3       4.2       4.0       4.5       4.6  
  Production occupations................................     4.5       5.2       5.0       4.8       5.0       5.3  
  Transportation and material moving occupations........     3.2       3.2       3.4       3.3       3.8       4.0  
  
  
  

Last Modified Date: September 14, 2010
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