Jobless Recovery

Fearing the Economy, Americans Hang On to Their Jobs

No confidence that they'll be able to find something better

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Americans who are lucky enough to have jobs are hanging on to them longer. A new analysis of Census Bureau data shows that median job tenure in 2012 was the highest since at least the early 1980s.

The Employment Benefit Research Institute said on Dec. 19 that the median time on the job for American wage and salary workers aged 25 and older was 5.4 years as of the beginning of 2012. That was up from 4.7 years in 2000, when hiring was strong, the jobless rate was low, and it was easy for quitters to get new jobs.

The year 2013 "should be pretty similar to 2010-12? in that people will continue to hang on to their jobs, Craig Copeland, the EBRI senior research associate who wrote the report, said in an interview. "The unemployment rate is still high. There doesn't seem to be a lot of job creation."