Millennials really are the best at hopping from job to job

What’s next?
What’s next?
Image: AP Photo/Jim Cole
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New data from LinkedIn confirms what we’ve suspected all along: Millennials are really fickle when it comes to employment.

Analyzing 3 million US profiles, LinkedIn found that workers who graduated between 2006 and 2010 have switched jobs 2.85 times on average in the first five years they’ve been out of school. In contrast, the Gen Xers who graduated between 1986 and 1990 changed jobs 1.6 times over the same period in their lives.

But are millennials deserving of their flighty reputation, or are their job-hopping ways a product of their circumstances?

Likely a bit of both.

“[Millennials] may want to try different things out before committing to one thing,” says LinkedIn’s in-house economist Guy Berger. “These were also people who came into probably the worst job market since the Great Depression.”

That fact might have led young workers to take short-term jobs that they wouldn’t have considered in a healthier economy, he said. Over time, Berger expects the frequency at which millennials job hop to slow down, similar to their older counterparts but at slightly higher rates.

The data also showed that certain industries, such as media and entertainment, were prone to higher turnover.  Women in general have historically changed jobs more frequently than men.

Why women job hop at higher rates isn’t clear, Berger said. But it’s probably not because they’re trying to balance career and family since the data includes only recent grads who aren’t likely having children. To understand workers’ motivations, he wants to follow up with a qualitative survey. “One thing I would like to do is figure out a little more of why some of these trends are happening,” he adds.