It's not that we love our jobs so much, said Craig Copeland, the study's author and senior research associate at EBRI. "It seems like people who have jobs in this economy are holding onto them if they have a choice," he said. When the economy is thriving, people switch jobs more often in search of better pay and benefits or more room for advancement. In this economy, we're happy just to have our jobs.
What did surprise me, actually, was the relatively short period of time that most people hold jobs.
The median length of time people have been at their jobs is 5.4 years, compared to 5.2 years in 2010 and 5 years nearly three decades ago.
Furthermore, the data over time seem to suggest that careers are built on a succession of jobs, rather than staying at the same job for a long time.
Only around 20 percent of workers aged 60 to 64 have been at their jobs for 25 years, Copeland said. That's not very many, but it's a drop of only around 3 percentage points since 1983. "The majority of people do change their jobs, either by choice or being forced to," he said.
The data also show that there is no longer any difference in workforce behavior between males and females in the US.