Surprise: Millennials Aren’t the Lazy Job Hoppers Everyone Thinks They Are

job hopping
xavierarnau/Getty Images

Millennials get a bad rap. Seriously: I just typed “millennials are” into the Google search bar, and the first three results were “lazy,” “stupid” and “entitled.”

We’re also apparently killing certain industries — like the paper napkin and golf industries. (So what if we want to save the planet one napkin at a time and don’t want to spend our weekends pretending to be wealthy businessmen?!) But we’ll put a pin in that one.

Instead, we’re going to break down the stereotype that millennials switch jobs whenever the wind changes direction. Because according to the Pew Research Center, they don’t. At least not any more than Generation X did when they were just starting out in their careers.

According to the study, which compared data about millennials in 2016 to data about Gen Xers in 2000, millennials aren’t much different from their older, more cynical counterparts when it comes to job tenure. In fact, the study shows millennials stay with their jobs longer than Generation Xers did when they were the same age.

Job Hopping by Generation: Here are the Numbers

In January 2016, 63.4% of millennials reported they had been working for their current employer for at least 13 months. In 2000, a slightly smaller 59.9% of 18- to 35-year-olds said the same thing. In the same surveys, 22% of millennials in 2016 said they had been at their current job for more than five years, while 21.8% of Gen Xers claimed the same back in 2000.

So while it’s not a huge margin, it’s definitely the proof people need to stop ragging on millennials. We’re all trying to figure out our passions and career paths — just like the generations before us did.

But Why are Millennials Sticking Around Longer?

One factor the Pew Research Center said may contribute to millennials’ prolonged job tenure is education level, which experts often associate with length of time spent at any one job.

In the year 2000, only 31% of male and 34% of female workers ages 25-35 had completed at least a bachelor’s degree, as opposed to the 38% of millennial men and the 46% of millennial women in the workforce. That’s a pretty big jump — so it makes sense that job tenure among millennials is rising, too.

And if that’s not enough to lift the unfair reputation young people have been saddled with, check out the one thing millennials are doing better than any other generation right now, or this proof that millennials aren’t as lazy as some might think.

Your Turn: How long have you been at your current job?

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Do you think this article might help you put more money in your pocket?