In the year A good job in the 1950s seemed as good as a marriage. as a Chance Editor William Whyte has written on the classic workplace survey The person of the organization, By mid-century, the rapidly growing white-collar workforce was filled by young men who had left their hometowns. It was an anonymous, bureaucratic turn for the supposedly brutal American economy. In turn, employers, fed up with profits in the post-war economic boom and seeking to retain talent, constantly promoted and offered carrots such as health insurance and pensions to keep people tied to their employers. Then the job seekers arrive and put the company person in for a story.
For the past several decades, the dominant media narrative has blamed this on Gen Z and millennials, often as mercenaries A killer of corporate loyalty – the driving force behind those who are ready to walk away the minute they don’t get what they’re asking for. Great resignation“,A quiet stop“,” “Applying anger” and any similar HR trends.
But the federal government itself has released new information that exposes it as a lie. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the first job seekers were none other than baby boomers, who changed employers at least as often, and perhaps more often, than millennials did at the same age.
Especially men born in the second half of the baby boom era. From 1957 to 1964, by age 34 they had accumulated an impressive 10 jobs and by age 56 they averaged 12.7 jobs, the BLS noted in a recent report. Most of that job-shaming, as one might expect, happened early in their careers, with, on average, less than one job a year between the ages of 18 and 24, compared to millennials at the same age.
“Early in your career, you sample the job market, you look around and see what’s available, and you don’t settle in until you’re in your 30s and 40s. Sociologist Arne Kalberg, who teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says this is a pattern that has always been true.
Rather than being a member of a certain generation, Attrition seems to be a byproduct of the modern economy: a behavior most workers experience early in their careers (and often forget what they did once they’re more established). Just like Gen Xers today, Millennials and Generation X and, yes, even Boomers had to do it. struggle with Allegations that their desire for meaningful work, good pay and work-life balance are unreasonable. In fact, Kalberg says, the boomers rebelled against their parents’ “corporate man” mentality.
“Young people in the late ’60s and ’70s began to criticize this view of work, because it was part of the establishment. They reject the materialism of their parents and start saying, ‘We want to be ourselves.'” Kalberg said.
“They rejected the idea of working for the man, and that’s what’s happening now,” he added.
More stable than the previous ones
If anything, compared to their predecessors, millennials have increased their careers at a slower pace. According to BLS figures, older millennials are born From 1980 to 1984– Holds an average of seven jobs by age 28, fewer than baby boomers of the same age. By age 34, millennials held an average of 8.6 jobs, one fewer than baby boomers of the same age.
Blame the 2007 financial crisis, the Great Recession that followed, and the extremely slow “jobless recovery” that hit young people hardest. Overemployment is one sign of a strong economy – workers don’t move unless they have somewhere to go. In the decade after the recovery and up until the pandemic, “the labor market wasn’t very tight, so people didn’t have many opportunities to change jobs,” said Nick Banker, chief economist at the Labor Board.
Another reason, they say, is that today’s young people are staying in school longer and taking longer to enter the job market on a regular basis, reducing the number of jobs they hold on average over their lifetime. And the burden of heavy student debt accumulated by young graduates makes them less likely to take the risk of changing jobs.
In fact, some researchers today worry that, according to Gallup, the stereotyped young worker is “disengaged” from their employer or “doesn’t see the future.” He wrote In a poll this year, it wasn’t long ago that economists were worried about the opposite – young workers aren’t moving. Enough.
In 2016, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Bright He thought there had been a “significant decline in job turnover among young workers” and that those workers were opting for job security “at a lower cost of trying different jobs”. That same year, another Federal Reserve researcher highlighted the trend at a Brookings Institution symposium. Mentioning “Less liquidity in the labor market results in fewer opportunities for workers… and can have important implications for the macro economy as a whole.”
There is no corporate person
The data also makes it clear that the “company man” remains the archetype Single work By the time the baby boomers came of age, the whole business was declining for good. Some of the boomers who started working in the late 1970s and early 1980s experienced this stability. But this was so decade It led to massive industrialization, from commodities to a Service economy, union busting and mass layoffs as a corporate strategy that protects workers and promotes company loyalty. (One of the early proponents of the strategy, General Electric CEO Jack Welch, one removed The company’s operations quarter In the first half of the 1980s, Quartz notes.)
Against this backdrop of an ever more uncertain economy, it is no wonder that younger generations tend to switch jobs more frequently. In the year The decade of the early 2000s saw Americans’ perceptions of what a “normal” job market look like as the workforce became increasingly diverse, according to Indeed’s Bunker. “We are used to such low levels of quitting and changing jobs. [after the pandemic] When it was reinstated in 2000, people were outraged,” he said.
Aside from layoffs, job hopping has well-documented benefits for employees. Finding a new job is often the easiest way to get a paycheck. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Young boomers, who changed jobs almost every year when they started their careers, experienced a 6.5% annual salary increase, according to the BLS. found. Pay – the reason most people work – remains a major motivator today. When consulting a company McKinsey Asked why workers took new jobs earlier this year, nearly every group gave the same No. 1 reason: more pay.
“Labor mobility—the ability to find and accept another job—is the basis of the labor force,” said the left-leaning economists at the Economic Policy Institute. He wrote last year.
Not only that, but higher job turnover rates are associated with a more productive economy overall, according to recent data. Working paper Issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
“In the long run, it’s going to be good for productivity for people to move and find what’s right for their careers,” said Jesse Wheeler, senior economist at business intelligence firm Morning Consult. “Ultimately, we want people to do what they love as much as possible, and they’re good at it.”
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