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Since I started out working for startups, I guess I'm used to people changing jobs so often that you can't really generalize about salary like that. Like, I can't imagine judging someone by their previous or current salary versus age. (Or even knowing either data point with much precision.)

You're right that it's not cut-and-dry. A year out of the workforce doesn't guarantee a lower salary for any particular individual. It does bias toward a lower salary, though. This is the case whether you're job-hopping or not.

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