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.

Post has no comments.
Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink 

Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

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 100 Articles


baby names new york times Merry Christmas Adelaide economy employment perth millionth Christchurch slideshare ABS tattoos McCrindle Speakers cold politics analysis digital list ultimo social researchers facts 2014 shbc February 16 Australian Trends sunburnt country technology neutral bay trends unemployment social trends hobart 24,000,000 divorce omnibus world youth day living wedding population milestone gen z optimistic mccrindle proactive anzac 24 million 1994 generation Z social researcher etiquette school satisfaction happiness holidays christianity tuesday English marketing community shopping kate middleton Myth urban selfie geomapping wolloomooloo resource future entertainment sydneycity winter stats christmas panel acf15 mythbusters sector wide study survey design Deaths engage housing gen alpha Australian demographics Canberra bondi cultural diversity housing trends Australian Home moreton bay Australians media release culture workplace child care equip Christmas season trend tuesday wealth jobs communication social commentator blaxland survey Australian Bureau of Statistics financial gold coast Duchess of Cambridge government growth suburban living video names Christmas presents Wellington entrepreneur trend The ABC of XYZ affordable research business index Gen X urban living Love 1968 mythbusting mccrindle research darwin entrepreneurs of today household demographics not for profit pyrmont language in the media sydneysiders house prices leadership crows nest consumer generations 2015 urban living index clothing Generation X princess charlotte water lalor park ACT lifestyle social careers waverton coffee eliane miles 1975 victoria Word Up baby name marrickville World Water Day cost 1980 baby boom online renting friends marriage Mark McCrindle seasons royal collaboration house public holiday brands royal baby couple Gen Y sports career church high density apartments cars intern rent work-life Tuesday Trends conference presentation global sustainable generation alpha census domestic Population Clock monarchy winter blues parenting grandparents conference public speaking renter of the future presentation children city Births small business spend high density living workforce hornsby royal family professional development generation demographer demographic education publication newspaper school work family event ipswich menai logan optus news online shopping ashley mckenzie baby vegemite environment millenials income statistics data visualisation long weekend cartodb 2016 brisbane research pack Charlotte retirement australian communities forum housing growth teleworking religion affordability hills shire budget Generation Y royal influence father's day social media divorce rate marriages internet PSI Sydney society thought leadership demographic trends market research responsive data narcissism focus group sentiments potts point business infographic students 2012 40 million holiday graphs report New Zeland innovation population growth 23 million 2013 CBD Australia Day mother's day builders home weather area gender youth interactive baby boomers australian communities trends report celebration litter ageing population manly tableau research visualisation urban taskforce "know the times" prince george transport population Scouts australia social research identity Melbourne define Royals debt suburbs families media future proof huffington post paying to work organisational culture presentations Valentine’s Day rising house prices suburb vegetarian capital cities the changing face of Christmas lunch easter snapshot cash