Green Goods and Services Occupations (GGS-OCC) FAQs
What are the GGS-OCC estimates? What GGS-OCC data are available?
The Occupational Employment and Wages in Green Goods and Services (GGS-OCC) program provides occupational employment and wage information for businesses that produce green goods and services. The GGS-OCC data consist of occupational employment, staffing patterns, and occupational wages for establishments that receive none of their revenue from green goods and services, all of their revenue from green goods and services, and revenue from a mix of green and nongreen goods and services. Data are available at the national level by industry and for all in-scope industries combined. These data represent all employment at establishments in a given revenue category. The GGS-OCC data do not specifically identify jobs directly associated with production of green goods and provision of green services, or provide counts of "green jobs" by occupation.
Where do I find total Green Goods and Services (GGS) employment by occupation?
The GGS-OCC program does not provide a total number of green jobs or occupational totals associated with the Green Goods and Services (GGS) survey. Instead, the data show occupational employment in establishments grouped by their share of revenue from green goods and services, as described in FAQ #1.
What is the GGS-OCC definition of green goods and services?
According to the BLS green jobs definition, green jobs are either:
- The output approach: jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
- The process approach: jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.
The GGS-OCC data, like the GGS survey, are based on the output approach to measuring green jobs.
The BLS definition of green goods and services includes jobs in businesses that produce goods and provide services that benefit the environment or preserve natural resources. These goods and services are sold to customers, and include research and development, installation, and maintenance services. Green goods and services fall into one or more of the following five categories:
- Energy from renewable sources. Electricity, heat, or fuel generated from renewable sources. These energy sources include wind, biomass, geothermal, solar, ocean, hydropower, and landfill gas and municipal solid waste.
- Energy efficiency. Products and services that improve energy efficiency. Included in this group are energy-efficient equipment, appliances, buildings, and vehicles, as well as products and services that improve the energy efficiency of buildings and the efficiency of energy storage and distribution, such as Smart Grid technologies.
- Pollution reduction and removal, greenhouse gas reduction, and recycling and reuse. These are products and services that:
- Reduce or eliminate the creation or release of pollutants or toxic compounds, or remove pollutants or hazardous waste from the environment.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through methods other than renewable energy generation and energy efficiency, such as electricity generated from nuclear sources.
- Reduce or eliminate the creation of waste materials; collect, reuse, remanufacture, recycle, or compost waste materials or wastewater.
- Natural resources conservation. Products and services that conserve natural resources. Included in this group are products and services related to organic agriculture and sustainable forestry; land management; soil, water, or wildlife conservation; and storm water management.
- Environmental compliance, education and training, and public awareness. These are products and services that:
- Enforce environmental regulations.
- Provide education and training related to green technologies and practices.
- Increase public awareness of environmental issues.
A separate survey called Green Technologies and Practices (GTP) is based on the BLS process approach to measuring green jobs. More information on the differences between these datasets is available below FAQ #14 and on the BLS Green Jobs homepage.
What basic concepts are essential to understanding the GGS-OCC data?
"Establishment," "industry," "occupation," "employees,", and "wages" are key concepts in the GGS-OCC data:
- An establishment is the physical location of a certain economic activity, for example, a factory, mine, store, or office. Generally a single establishment produces a single good or provides a single service. An enterprise (a private firm, government, or nonprofit organization) could consist of a single establishment or multiple establishments. A multi-establishment enterprise could have all its establishments in one industry (i.e., a chain), or could have various establishments in different industries (i.e., a conglomerate).
- An industry is a group of establishments that produce similar products or provide similar services. For example, all establishments that manufacture automobiles are in the same industry. A given industry, or even a particular establishment in that industry, might have employees in dozens of occupations. In the GGS-OCC data, similar establishments are grouped into industries based on the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). More information about the NAICS is available from the BLS NAICS home page.
- An occupation is a set of activities or tasks that employees are paid to perform. Employees that perform essentially the same tasks are in the same occupation, whether or not they are in the same industry. Some occupations are concentrated in a few industries, while other occupations are found in the majority of industries.
How are "employees" defined in the GGS-OCC data?
"Employees" are all part-time and full-time workers who are paid a wage or salary. The estimates do not cover the self-employed, owners and partners in unincorporated firms, household workers, or unpaid family workers.
How are "wages" defined in the GGS-OCC data?
GGS-OCC wage estimates represent wages and salaries only, and do not include employer costs of nonwage benefits, such as health insurance or employer contributions to retirement plans. Wages in the GGS-OCC estimates are straight-time, gross pay, exclusive of premium pay.
Included in the collection of wage data are:
- base rate,
- cost-of-living allowances,
- guaranteed pay,
- hazardous-duty pay,
- incentive pay, including commissions and production bonuses, and
Excluded from the wage data are:
- back pay,
- jury duty pay,
- overtime pay,
- severance pay,
- shift differentials,
- nonproduction bonuses, and
- tuition reimbursements.
What industries are within scope for the GGS-OCC estimates?
BLS has identified 333 detailed industries (6-digit NAICS) in which green goods and services are potentially produced. This industry list (PDF) (XLS) constitutes the scope for the GGS-OCC estimates.
How do the GGS-OCC estimates classify occupations?
The GGS-OCC occupational classifications are based on the Office of Management and Budget’s Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. More information about the Standard Occupational Classification system, including the full SOC structure, is available from our SOC page. Detailed information on using the SOC to classify occupations can be found in the SOC User Guide.
The GGS-OCC estimates are based on data collected over a three-year period, and include data collected under both the 2000 SOC and the revised 2010 SOC system. Almost all the occupations in this release are 2010 SOC occupations; however, some are not. In some cases, an occupation is a combination of data reported for one or more occupations in the 2000 SOC and one or more 2010 SOC occupations. Some of these combination occupations match occupations in the 2000 SOC. In other cases, occupations from the two structures were combined into a hybrid occupation that is not found in either the 2000 or 2010 SOC. Some of these hybrid occupations have the same title as a 2010 SOC occupation, but not the same content. These occupations are marked with an asterisk (*) and given a temporary code for the GGS-OCC data. For more information on how data collected under the two structures were combined, including a downloadable concordance between the SOC and GGS-OCC structures, see OES FAQ #41.
How were the GGS-OCC data collected?
The GGS-OCC estimates are based on data collected in separate surveys: revenue data from the BLS Green Goods and Services (GGS) survey, and occupational employment and wage data from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey and a supplement to the OES survey. Special procedures were implemented to maximize the overlap between the two samples. Both GGS and OES are mail surveys of business establishments.
The GGS survey asks employers to report the percent of revenue they received in the prior fiscal year from the sale of green goods and services. Survey forms list examples of green goods and services meeting the BLS definition.
The OES survey and its supplement asked establishments to provide total employment for the sampled establishment, as well as the number of workers, by occupation, in each of 12 specific wage intervals. The OES survey is designed to produce estimates by pooling data collected over a 3-year period. This methodology allows the production of statistically reliable estimates at high levels of occupational, industry, and geographical detail, while reducing the burden on survey respondents. Occupational data for these overlap units were collected in 1 of 6 semiannual OES panels—November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, November 2009, and May 2009—or in a supplemental sample of about 25,000 units collected in November 2011 and May 2011. This supplemental sample was designed to cover agricultural industries excluded from OES, and to provide additional coverage of certain other industries.
How were the GGS and OES surveys combined?
To produce the GGS-OCC estimates, each sampled establishment’s occupational employment and wage data from the OES survey were matched to the share of the establishment’s revenue from green goods or green services as reported to the GGS survey. Establishments’ occupational employment and wage data are grouped according to their green revenue shares, and presented for three groups of establishments: those with all, none, or some, but not all, of their revenue from the sale of green goods and services. More information on the GGS survey methodology is available in the GGS technical note. More information on the OES survey is available in the OES frequently asked questions or in the OES survey methods and reliability statement.
Will the GGS-OCC data miss jobs related to green goods and services that are found in industries outside the scope of the survey?
Establishments are classified into NAICS industries based on the goods or services that represent their primary activity. Establishments that are not classified in an industry on the BLS list of industries that potentially produce green goods and services are not included in the GGS-OCC estimates. If a minority of their activity involves the production of green goods or services, these goods or services and the jobs related to them are not identified. BLS is aware of this limitation and notes that the size of this limitation is unknown.
What is the relationship between the GGS-OCC data and estimates of "green" employment from the GGS survey?
The GGS and GGS-OCC data are both based on the BLS output approach to measuring green jobs. Both use the same definition of green goods and services and have the same industry scope. In addition, the GGS-OCC sample consists entirely of units that were sampled in the GGS survey, although not all GGS sample units were included in the smaller GGS-OCC sample. (See FAQ #9.) Both GGS and GGS-OCC also use the percent of each sampled establishment’s revenue received from green goods and services, as reported to the GGS survey, to produce their estimates.
However, there are important conceptual differences between the GGS and GGS-OCC data. Establishments responding to the GGS survey were asked to provide the share of their revenue related to the production of green goods or provision of green services. This revenue share was applied to the establishment's total employment to obtain the establishment's green employment. For example, if an establishment that produces both green and nongreen products employs 100 people and obtains 40 percent of its revenue from the sale of its green products, the GGS survey would count 40 of that establishment's employees as green. Using this methodology, the GGS survey produces estimates of green employment.
Unlike the GGS survey, the GGS-OCC program does not provide explicit estimates of the number of green jobs. In particular, the GGS-OCC data do not represent occupational breakdowns of the green employment estimates from the GGS survey. Instead, the GGS-OCC program uses the green revenue shares from GGS to group establishments into categories based on the percent of their revenue received from green goods and services. For each revenue category, the GGS-OCC program provides occupational staffing patterns and wages for establishments in that category. Also, these estimates represent occupational employment and wages for all employees within a given revenue category, not specifically employees who produce green goods or provide green services.
Are workers involved in green technologies and practices included in the GGS-OCC data?
Workers may be involved in technologies and practices that lessen the environmental impact of their establishment’s production processes, whether or not their establishment produces green goods or provides green services. For this reason, the GGS-OCC data for both green and nongreen establishments may include jobs held by workers involved in green technologies and practices. However, the GGS-OCC estimates do not attempt to identify these jobs. The GGS-OCC data will not include workers involved in green technologies and practices who are employed in industries outside the scope of the GGS survey.
A separate BLS survey, the Green Technologies and Practices (GTP) survey, collects data on jobs in which workers spend more than half of their time involved in green technologies and practices. For more information on the GTP survey, see the GTP home page.
What is the difference between the GGS-OCC and Green Technologies and Practices (GTP) data? Can I compare or combine estimates from the two datasets?
The GGS-OCC and GTP data are based on two distinct concepts and are not designed to be compared. The GGS-OCC estimates are based on the output approach to measuring green jobs. GGS-OCC data consist of occupational employment and wage estimates for all jobs in three groups of establishments, based on the percent of revenue the establishment receives from green goods and services.
The separate GTP survey is based on the process approach to measuring green jobs, and estimates the number of jobs in which workers spend more than half of their time involved in technologies and practices that make their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly.
Jobs captured by the GGS-OCC and GTP estimates may overlap in establishments that produce green goods and services using green technologies and practices. The extent of the overlap is unknown.
Because the GGS-OCC and GTP data are based on different concepts and may overlap, users should not sum the estimates to get a count of total green employment, nor should they consider the two estimates a range of the number of green jobs. Users should decide which of the approaches best suits their analytical needs. GTP and GGS-OCC estimates cannot be compared to each other to provide a measure of the change in green employment over time.
Can occupational employment and wage data from the GGS-OCC survey be compared to data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey?
The OES and GGS-OCC estimates are based on overlapping samples and use the same data collection procedures, but are not designed to produce comparable data. Anyone making comparisons should be aware that the OES and GGS-OCC estimates have differences in scope, reference periods, and methodology. The OES survey collects data on almost all industries, while the GGS-OCC estimates cover only 333 6-digit NAICS industries in which establishments’ primary activity may include the production of green goods and services. Even industry-specific data will have different scopes. The GGS-OCC estimates include farms and other agricultural establishments not included in the OES survey. Industry-specific estimates in the GGS-OCC data include government establishments, and most industry estimates in the OES survey do not. GGS-OCC employment estimates are benchmarked to the average of the May 2011 and November 2011 Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) employment levels, and the May 2011 OES estimates are benchmarked to the average of the May 2011 and November 2010 reference periods.
Where can I find more information on the GGS-OCC methodology?
Detailed information about the GGS-OCC methodology can be found in our survey methods and reliability statement (HTML) (PDF).
Last Modified Date: October 3, 2012