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People born in early 1980s held an average of 8.2 jobs from ages 18 through 32

June 03, 2020

People born in 1980–84 held an average of 8.2 jobs from ages 18 through 32. Women held an average of 8.3 jobs, and men held an average of 8.1 jobs. Women with higher levels of education held more jobs than women with lower levels. Women with a bachelor's degree held 8.8 jobs from ages 18 through 32, compared with 6.5 jobs for female high school dropouts. Men held a similar number of jobs regardless of their level of education.

Average number of jobs held from age 18 through age 32 in 1998–2017 by educational attainment and sex
Characteristic Total Men Women


8.2 8.1 8.3

Less than a high school diploma

7.3 8.0 6.5

High school graduates, no college

7.6 7.9 7.1

Some college or associate degree

8.5 8.3 8.6

Bachelor's degree and higher

8.5 8.0 8.8

People held an average of 4.5 jobs from ages 18 to 22. The average number of jobs dropped to 3.3 from ages 23 to 27, and then dropped more, to 2.3 jobs, from ages 28 to 32. The pattern of people holding fewer jobs as they aged was similar among women and men and across racial and ethnic groups and levels of education.

These data are from the National Longitudinal Surveys. For more information, see "Labor Market Activity, Education, and Partner Status among Americans at Age 33: Results from a Longitudinal Survey." A job is defined as a period of work, including gaps, with a particular employer.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, People born in early 1980s held an average of 8.2 jobs from ages 18 through 32 at (visited July 19, 2024).

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