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April 30, 2009


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I actually find this statistic a bit depressing as the wheel of our economy makes it harder for people to think about leaving industries even though they would probably like to. Some folks, once they have experience and a track record are very reluctant to start over again - just as employers are wary of hiring someone with no experience. Seems like college would be doing us a bigger favor if they could really let us try out a variety of careers before we jump into something that may be hard for us to extricate ourselves from.


Did you break these statistics down to how many people were new graduates, or have been in the workforce 5 years, 10 years, etc. Although it says "worked in there first job for 8 years or more I wonder how many of the respondents have been out of high school/college at least that long (all of them?) Also, how many are high school graduates vs. college graduates? It could be that high school graduates do not stay in there first job very long. I would love to have seen other results too. Like is there any difference based on gender?

Kathy Steinberg, Research Manager, Public Relations Research

Joyce, you raise some interesting questions, some of which I can answer based on the data we've already collected.

This question was asked only of adults who have graduated from college and have had a full-time job since graduation - adults who have received a high school degree only were not asked that question.

We also did not ask respondents how long they have been in the workforce, though age serves as a pretty good proxy and there are indeed differences by age group, with younger adults spending less time at their first job than their older counterparts.

There are also some differences by gender: men are more likely than women (older men in particular) to have stayed at their first job for 8 years or more!

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