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Providing internal growth opportunities may be key to retaining young entrants to the job market

Media Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466,; Wendy LoCicero, ASE, 248.223.8006,

Livonia, Mich. —March 27, 2015 — According to a recent report by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) entitled “What Should I be When I Grow Up,” young workers (ages 20 to 24) are nearly three times as likely as workers ages 45 to 54 to leave a job within a year. The reason? Millennials want to find a job that fits them both culturally and workwise. Based on this information, should employers looking to hire college graduates from the Class of 2015 be concerned that Millennials are much less stable in their careers than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers? Not necessarily, says Mary Corrado, president and CEO of the American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations.

“If you take a closer look and compare workforce trends of the Millennials against those of older generations, they too job-hopped when they were younger to find jobs that ‘fit’ them,” Corrado said.

A 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics found the average person born near the end of the Baby Boom held 11.3 jobs from age 18 to 46; nearly half of those jobs were held from ages 18 to 24. Additionally, the NBER found the unemployment rate for individuals aged 20 to 24 years old is approximately 2.5 times that of seasoned professionals aged 45 to 54 years old, inferring there is a direct correlation between frequency of job switching and the unemployment rate, says Corrado.

“The NBER research concluded the younger generation is continually trying to find themselves, first in a job that may be appropriate for them and then in a culture where they can thrive,” Corrado said. “Therefore, when younger workers become older workers, they are more likely to be satisfied in their chosen occupation and organizations because they have ‘found themselves’.”

Corrado adds that younger workers, in their quest to ‘find themselves’, are more likely to leave jobs until they do.

“It’s not necessarily a millennial issue; rather, part of the workforce cycle,” Corrado said.

So what should employers do as they recruit soon-to-be college graduates? Corrado says not to fret.

“Young employees always have, and always will, job-hop,” Corrado said. “Employers who can keep their younger employees’ job-hopping contained within their own four walls by providing opportunities internally could end up being the big winners in the long-term race for talent.”

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
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