EBRI Notes

“Employee Tenure Trends, 1983–2014” and “Views on Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings from the 2014 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey”

Feb 19, 2015 24  pages


Employee Tenure Trends, 1983–2014

  • The most recent U.S. Census Bureau data show that the overall median tenure of workers—the midpoint of wage and salary workers’ length of employment in their current jobs—was slightly higher in 2014, at 5.5 years, compared with 5.0 years in 1983.
  • However, the median tenure for male wage and salary workers was lower in 2014 at 5.5 years, compared with 5.9 years in 1983. In contrast, the median tenure for female wage and salary workers increased from 4.2 years in 1983 to 5.4 years in 2014. Consequently, the increase in the median tenure of female workers more than offset the decline in the median tenure of male workers, leaving the overall level slightly higher.
  • The data on employee tenure—the amount of time an individual has been with his or her current employer—show that career jobs never existed for most workers and have continued not to exist for most workers. These tenure results indicate that, historically, most workers have repeatedly changed jobs during their working careers, and all evidence suggests that they will continue to do so in the future.

Views on Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings from the 2014 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey

  • Enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) has raised questions about whether employers will continue to offer health coverage to their workers in the future. Yet, the importance of benefits as criteria in choosing a job remains high, and health insurance in particular continues to be, by far, the most important employee benefit to workers.
  • Most workers are satisfied with the health benefits they have now, although nearly one-third would change the mix of wages and health benefits, which may reflect an intensifying desire for real wage growth. Choice of health plans is important to workers, and they would like more choices, but most workers express confidence that their employers or unions have selected the best available health plan. Moreover, they are not as confident in their ability to choose the best available plan if their employers or unions did, in fact, stop offering coverage.
  • Individuals are not highly comfortable that they could use an objective rating system to choose health insurance nor are they extremely confident that a rating system could help them choose the best health insurance.