Shifts within and across occupations drive changes in skill levels
September 17, 1999
Average skill levels in the economy increased over the 1989-97 period, primarily due to shifts in occupational employment within industries.
A little over half of the total change was caused by shifts within broad occupational groups, within specific industries. An example of this might be a shift toward clerical supervisors and away from secretaries and data processors in the clerical occupations within the services industry.
About one-third of the increase could be traced to shifts within industries but across broad occupational groups. One example would be the trend toward hiring more professional workers and fewer clerical workers in a wide variety of industries.
Skill levels increased only slightly due to shifts toward higher-wage industries. Such across-industry shifts were mostly in the service-producing sector and accounted for about one-tenth of the total increase in the economy’s skill level.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Shifts within and across occupations drive changes in skill levels on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/sept/wk3/art05.htm (visited January 17, 2017).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.
A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
Spending on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.
Self-employment in the United States
Trends in self-employment by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including both the unincorporated and the incorporated self-employed, as well as data on paid employees who work for the self-employed.