Population Surveys (these estimates are based on data from Neumark et al., in press). For purposes of comparison, similar estimates for tenure with the employer are also reported. The figures in columns (3) and (4) indicate that over this period occupational tenure rose, with the mean rising by about one-half year and the median rising by about one year. This has occurred via a rather sharp decrease in the proportion with 0–5 years of occupational tenure, and increases in the proportion with 10 or more years of occupational tenure. The bottom rows of the table indicate that mean tenure has risen for all age groups except the oldest workers, and the median tenure has risen for all but the youngest group. Overall, then, although this evidence is very preliminary, it suggests that occupational tenure has not declined, and that workers are, if anything, remaining in their occupations somewhat longer.
If managerial and skilled employees in particular find better prospects in careers that span organizations, they must somehow develop mechanisms for getting information about opportunities elsewhere and for securing new positions. Sociological research has shown that networks are a major way that people get jobs. These networks are organized in terms of family members for some, but are also organized along dimensions such as religion, ethnicity or race, and so on. Granovetter, for example, found that 56 percent of the professional, technical, and managerial workers in his study used contacts to find their jobs. Of these, about a third used family-social contacts (defined as a relative, friend of the family, or social friend) to do so. Granovetter, using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (Hill, 1992), concludes that almost half of the adults, regardless of ethnicity or gender, found their current jobs via friends and relatives. This proportion is confirmed by data from Lincoln and Kalleberg's study (1990) of the employees of 52 manufacturing plants in Indianapolis.
Family networks are especially important for groups that might otherwise be excluded from labor markets for good jobs, such as immigrants. Roger Waldinger's studies (cited in Granovetter, 1995) illustrate the importance of immigrants' networks