Survey: How Long Do Recent College Grads Stay in Their First Jobs?

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Express Employment Professionals survey reveals most pack it up after a year or less. Only 26 percent expect grads to stay for more than one year.

In a difficult economy, many graduates don’t get to take their ‘dream jobs’ right out of college. That may explain why they don’t stay put and choose to move on after just a few months.

In the 10th of a series of releases titled “America Employed,” Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm, today announced findings that reveal how long recent college graduates can be expected to stay in their first jobs.

The survey of 264 Express franchises across the nation shows that nearly three-fourths of respondents, 74 percent, said they expect a recent graduate to stay in his or her first job for a year or less. In other words, college graduates of the Millennial generation aren’t expected to settle into their first jobs or to show commitment to their first employers.

“There was a time when a graduate would take a job out of college and stay there for years building a career. Today’s graduates are much more transient, eager to move on to the next great opportunity,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “An earlier survey revealed one of the Millennial generation’s greatest weaknesses is a lack of commitment. And indeed, these results indicate a willingness to walk away from their first jobs.

“On the other hand, these finding may have something to say not just about graduates but also about the jobs they’re taking,” Funk said. “In a difficult economy, many graduates don’t get to take their ‘dream jobs’ right out of college. That may explain why they don’t stay put and choose to move on after just a few months.”

Respondents were asked, “In your opinion, how long does the average recent college graduate (graduating within the last 18 months) stay in their first career job following graduation?” The responses are as follows.

1. Three to six months - 16 percent
2. Seven months to one year - 58 percent
3. More than one year - 26 percent

If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk, please contact Sherry Kast at (405) 717-5966.

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About Robert A. “Bob” Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman, chief executive officer and president of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 600 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than five million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.3 billion in temporary sales in 2012 and ranks as the largest privately held staffing agency in the United States. Its goal is to put more than a million people to work.

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Sherry Kast
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