Job Mobility in Australia

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Australia’s job mobility is a long way from job for life- in fact it’s closer to three jobs per decade!

Today the national average tenure in a job is 3.3 years (3 years and 4 months), based on voluntary turnover of around 15% per annum.

If this plays out consistently in the life of a school leaver today, and assuming they start their working life aged 18 (in a part-time role) and are retired from all work by 75, they will have 17 different employers in their lifetime. Based on 3 jobs before upskilling or career changing, this means that they will also have 5 separate careers in their lifetime.

Job tenure by age group in Australia today

Age groupAverage job tenure
U251 year 8 months
25-352 years 8 months
35-444 years
45+6 years 8 months
Average3 years 4 months

Source: HILDA, Department of Employment.

Young people have always had greater job mobility than older workers. Four decades ago (1975) the tenure of Under 25’s per job was the same as today: 1 year and 8 months on average. However, what has changed a lot is that back then workers aged over 45 averaged almost 10 years per job (and why long service leave, set at 10 years, traditionally functioned effectively), while today for this age group it is 6 years and 8 months. In 1975, just 8% of those aged 55+ stayed less than a year while today it is twice this proportion at 15%.

The point is that young people have always had shorter job tenure than older workers, moving in and out of education, career changing, upskilling, and moving home which impacts on employment. What is unique today is that the bulk of the workforce is following the lead of young people with more retraining, career changing, home moving, and shifting from employment to self-employment (and back!) than ever before. Plus with the shift to a more flexible employment market, marked by more temporary staff, contractors, more parents in the workforce seeking flexibility based on their family arrangements, a more empowered and confident workforce happy to leave a job and try for something else, and with technology providing easier opportunities to be a passive job-seeker (through online recruitment, job search apps etc.), we are seeing, and will continue to see more voluntary workforce mobility. Four decades ago, just 1 in 10 workers was employed on a part time basis while today this is more than 3 in 10. And while some of the increased job separations have been driven by economic uncertainties, redundancies, employers shifting recruitment to contract roles, the biggest part of job mobility is voluntary, with job moves based on employment opportunity, life balance, or personal reasons more than twice as large as involuntary job separations (such as redundancies and temporary roles ending).

Housing mobility (where the average renter stays just 1 year and 10 months) is linked very strongly to youth job mobility (1 year and 8 months per job) and interstate mobility (the fastest growing state is Western Australia with a growth rate of 3.1%) is similarly linked strongly to employment opportunities (Western Australia has the highest private sector full time earnings and the nation’s lowest unemployment rate).

So in an era where job opportunity matters more than job security and where flexibility and mobility matter more than stability and job loyalty, the trends which have created shorter job tenure are here to stay. In an era of employment flexibility and empowered workers, employers can no longer rely on job salary and security to attract top performers and retain the emerging generation of leaders.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


global generations conference speaker australian communities trends report home ownership learner community event blaxland internship workforce mateship bondi Christmas season school satisfaction trend tuesday not for profit children mccrindle tea South Australia capital cities year 12 retirement Scouts mother's day NEETs dreaming social life Australian Communities Trends Do It Yourself 1968 vegemite socialising participants ipswich shopping communications social lives social commentary snapshot growth ACF 2016 Financial Planning Association of Australia marriages christmas 10 years offenders communication property market Education Future Forum selfie leadership workshop baby boom 2016 outsourcing Real Estate IT Specialists business index Northern Territory woolworths long weekend PSI darwin pyrmont unemployment Gen X work sector wide DESTEL moderators guide divorce rate research visualisation wellbeing baby culture collaboration state lifestyle environmental scanning sydney event year 7 presentation princess charlotte survey Canberra speakers spend sydneysiders poker master village cost of living google for education Mark McCrindle education educhat grandparents dare to dream sustainable sports transport rule keeper income 24,000,000 internships Population Clock media statistics living Generation X etiquette high density living real 2012 data visualisation slideshare wealth small business high density socialites fresh cancel plans easy rider brands toys winter lalor park Wellington going out generation conference not-for-profit tattoos friends media release personal growth ease of travel Deaths McCrindle Speakers February 16 urban taskforce in the media dessert urban living index economy father's day annual income jobs of the future holiday teacher Kiwi sentiments buildings relevant financial independence crime baby name volunteers professional speaker social researchers trends analyst educated thought leadership Northern Beaches Christian School schools students Queensland young people families mccrindle research area media activity land of the middle class brand experience builders omnibus NSW wealth distribution Births researcher stay home clothing twentyseventeen marrickville keynote goal System's Architect trend property price national private wealth Australian Home government low density teach domestic engage 2020 entertainment financial housing Engineering Manager demographics future proof Wagga Wagga entrepreneurial mortgage insight australian social research Territory panel EFF focus groups future-proof demographer typical australian Australian Census social royal influence the changing face of mccrindle Australian schools tea 24 million goals ACT group mythbusters child care religion organisations unaffordable report deloitte mentor financial future data education sector school students workplace suburbs rising house prices population growth responsive poor online shopping celebration housing growth brisbane resource Social Trend challenge property non profit church gender future of education FPA ACF Christmas presents program rich sydneycity households learning styles home owner states baby names royal family urban consumer communicate research pack university degree Financial Planning Association suburb social impact millenials HSC Gen Y mining boom gen z Kirsten Brewer Assistant Store Manager Channel Seven brand trends of 2016 future New Zealand overcast Merry Christmas emerging trends case study divorce tertiary education priorities youth stats curiosity learning economic know the times litter Aussies Christmas lunch customer summer news tuesday social trends university resilience household insights school click mythbusting anzac work-life gen alpha thrive Australian Trends names social shifts Northern Beaches urban living paying to work visualisation Real Estate Institute of Victoria results recap "know the times" cars forum rise of local sector menai Crime Rates ageing population debate global neutral bay cultural diversity balance shbc relational social analysis financial dreams Queensland: QLD residents in depth interviews google social researcher water city coffee education future weather innovation millennials marriage budget winter blues wedding food Duchess of Cambridge suburban living define language student holidays social commentator research data research repayments Christchurch criminal group session publication Netflix waverton 2013 royal australians staying home more wealth and income distribution The ABC of XYZ Tuesday Trends public holiday Australian demographics house price society nfp geomapping entrepreneur safe generations cost entrepreneurs of today video housing affordability ashley fell public speaking new york times faux-cilising authenticity potts point internet ultimo sunny days hello fresh perth owning a home house prices experience future of work Australians rain capital city jobs population milestone collaborative digital young australians royal baby presentations community engagement REIV National Conference Sydney schools FOMO DIY tableau renter of the future Australia Day Word Up world youth day national crime rates generation Z global financial crisis motivate debt greatness list social change education future report careers World Water Day January 26th NT market research demographic transformations apartment English aussie culture hornsby 40 million innovative teaching local commute women personalities Australian Bureau of Statistics faux-ciliser cancelling plans australia forecasting affordability leadership eliane intern Aussie Australian Dream newspaper australian communities forum millionth Adelaide Financial Planning Week wealth and income cooking earn housing trends cold 1994 Royals career The Daily Edition rental stress mccrindle in the media population future proofing Valentine’s Day house mobile society trends visual baby name predictions product Myth students monarchy focus group Australia Day 2017 change learn victoria ethnography 2014 christianity Caregiver sun narcissism cloudy days consumerism demographic events parenting skills work mates workshop ashley mckenzie marketing leader media commentary sector wide study Sydney keynote speaker research services keynote speaker mover and shaker qualitative research graphs study huffington post generational trends hobart professional parents Res Vis social enquiry manly Northern beaches Event Australian communities middle class world investor Charlotte demographic trends Bathburst identity men high density apartments life couple Western Australia youth unemployment WA Channel 7 weekly earnings optus my business awards home engagement equip investment post rationalism TAS event tips emerging technologies megatrends Love trends online moreton bay seasons Tuesday Trend kate middleton teachers salary national wealth meals optimistic environment crows nest population map infographic social media professional development growing population JOMO Australian Families average aussie high school affordable Geoff Brailey analysis friendship community proactive survey design business Tasmania Wodonga employment shifts vegetarian interactive trends of 2017 quote 2017 facts renting award communities education research ABS dream social research family increasing densification easter follow optus teleworking gold coast training Melbourne daily telegraph earnings sydney speaker employers baby boomers Research Executive logan fears eliane miles housing market CBD cartodb finance data analyst emerging generations conference presentation prince george ideas alpha workplace culture generation alpha hopes hills shire Generation Y wolloomooloo happiness plans local communities rent energy staff politics New South Wales 2015 census tv cash SA daily commute TDE baby name trends New Zeland wages networking organisational culture VIC GPO REIV Conference 1975 shopper's pick cancelling event sunburnt country acf15 townhouses futurist Hornsby Shire Council 23 million 1980 charity technology staying in faux-cilise