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JobsFirstNYC, in collaboration with the New York City Mayor’s Center for Youth Employment and Social Finance, piloted a retention services initiative that aimed to reduce turnover in young adult employment.

The Challenge

Today’s job market has spurred new work opportunities for thousands of young adults. However, a major issue facing many businesses hiring entry-level workers is the cost associated with employee turnover. Similarly, for workers with relatively low educational attainment and limited work history, finding a job can prove easier than keeping one.


Average Cost of Each Entry Level turnover in small-mid sized businesses


Annual turnover of employees in the retail, food, and accommodation sectors


decrease in lifetime earnings for youth under 25 years old with unstable employment


increase in expenses for businesses due to entry level turnover


CareerLift draws from and builds on proven local and national models. It seeks to help employers of young adults reduce turnover-related costs and establish policies and procedures that support employee retention. The program places staff from workforce development organizations on site at employers to provide retention support to employees. These staff members connect employees to a range of services offered by local providers (such as housing, child care, benefits enrollment, and upskilling), which helps entry-level employees stay in their jobs and advance in their careers.


A recent study of the pay for success model conducted by Social Finance found that turnover among entry level employees is often driven by challenges outside the workplace, such as transportation, child care, or housing. The report included critical findings which included: 

  • The average cost of each entry level turnover for small to mid-sized employers is $3,300.
  • Annual turnover among employees in the retail, food, and accommodation sectors is 64%. 
  • High turnover costs are driven by the cost of training and on the job interviews. Reducing the need for these can dramatically reduce costs. 

Learn more about CareerLift:

16Employers Engaged
200Employees connected to Wraparound Services

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