Saturday, January 14, 2017

Understanding Production Workers, All Other -- SOC 51-9199

A favorite of vocational experts all across the country -- occupations within the designation of production workers, all other.  Click on the link for an O*NET list of 1,590 DOT codes that fall within the SOC group with the designation 51-9199. 

That isn't accurate.  Go back to the 2011 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES).  There isn't a 51-9199.  But there is a SOC/OES group designated 51-9399.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains for 2011:
* This occupation has the same title, but not necessarily the same content, as the 2010 SOC occupation
This OES occupation is a combination of data collected for the 2010 SOC occupations 51-3099 Food Processing Workers, All Other, 51-9199 Production Workers, All Other and the 2000 SOC occupation 51-9199 Production Workers, All Other. 
 In 2012, BLS reports jobs numbers for 51-9199 and 51-3099.  As of 2011, production workers, all other bore a child, food processing workers, all other.  When O*NET lists 1,590 DOT codes for 51-9199, it hasn't caught up to the split.  We know this because 51-3099 lists no DOT codes.  Our friends at SkillTran use their connections with Labor to ascertain that food processing workers, all other at 51-3099 contains 61 unskilled to skilled light to heavy occupations.  SkillTran's Job Browser Pro leaves 1,526 DOT codes in 51-9199.  I have not ascertained where the other three went -- it is beyond the scope of this piece.  What we do know is that 51-9199 contains fewer than 1,590 occupations because BLS put some of them into 51-3099. 

Back to the task at hand -- what is the nature of 51-9199 and how many jobs exist in any particular DOT code residing in that accumulation?  The O*NET characterizes 51-9199 as:
"All Other" titles represent occupations with a wide range of characteristics which do not fit into one of the detailed O*NET-SOC occupations. O*NET data is not available for this type of title. For more detailed occupations under this title, see below.
This description of the 1,500+ DOT codes is simple -- it is a wastebasket for a group of codes that have little in common with each other and existing in insufficient numbers individually or in discernable groups to warrant a "real" SOC code of their own.  The O*NET makes the same statement about the 51-3099; it repeats the first two sentences quoted above.  By my count, there are 50 SOC groups that have that "all other" designation.

This takes us to the reason why vocational expert designate occupations within 51-9199 with impunity.  Their is no hard data to contradict anything that they say about the physical, mental, and skill requirements of the work.  Other O*NET codes have detailed information about the requirements of the occupational groups, but the 99's.  They are too disparate and dissimilar to have any published data. 

As presently constituted, 51-9199 contains 52 separate sedentary unskilled DOT codes and 390 light unskilled DOT codes.  Sedentary and light semi-skilled and skilled occupations make up another 440 DOT codes.  Over a third of the sedentary unskilled occupational base and almost a quarter of the light unskilled occupational base identified in the Appendix 2 regulations individually don't amount to a significant number of jobs.  If they did, they would be in their own SOC group,  Let's prove it. 

From the employment projections that form the foundation of the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  For 51-9199 EP, BLS reports

Industry 2014
Sort Order Code Title Employment Percent of industry Percent of occupation
1 TE1000 Total employment 236.2 0.2 100.0
27 31-330 Manufacturing 105.0 0.9 44.5

If the vocational expert identifies a manufacturing occupation, the number cannot exceed 105,000 jobs and then only if there are no other occupations with different skill or exertion levels. 

63 326000 Plastics and rubber products manufacturing 5.7 0.8 2.4
64 326100 Plastics product manufacturing 4.3 0.8 1.8
65 326200 Rubber product manufacturing 1.3 1.0 0.6

The DOT reports three light unskilled and 10 other DOT codes in the plastic products industry that fall into 51-9199.  The DOT reports eight unskilled light and 43 other codes in the rubber products industry that fall into 51-9199. 

There are 20 DOT codes in the optical goods industry. reports that industry designation 339115 covers ophthalmic goods manufacturing.  The closest we get to in the EP reports:

123 339100 Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing 3.5 1.1 1.5

County Business Patterns reports industry employment:

339115 Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 24,910

Using the EP 1.1% of the industry represents 51-9199 jobs, we get 274 jobs ... in 20 different DOT codes.  That tells us that there are NOT thousands of lens inserters or final assemblers of optical goods.  The only other possibility is:

333314 Optical Instrument and Lens Manufacturing 15,003

And the EP says:

93 333300 Commercial and service industry machinery manufacturing 0.6 0.7 0.3

600 jobs.  But don't be fooled -- none of the businesses in 333314 fit final assembler or lens inserters. 

There are 52 sedentary codes and 390 codes to walk through.  The EP and the CBP inform the process.  The EP are part and parcel of the OOH.  The CBP are separately noticed.  20 CFR 404.1566(d); 416.966(d). 

The proof starts with cross-examination.  Good luck. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Furniture Rental Consultants part II

Last year, we addressed the furniture rental consultant.  More like last week.  Mr. Olinsky suggested that furniture rental stores are everywhere in the red states.  Let's look at the occupation-industry matrix from BLS, sorted by industry.  

The reports available for the retail trade sector:

Retail trade, except motor vehicle and parts dealers, food and beverage stores, and general merchandise stores

442000-4000, 446000-8000, 451000, 453000-4000
Furniture and home furnishings stores
Furniture stores
Line item
Home furnishings stores
Line item
Electronics and appliance stores
Line item
Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers
Building material and supplies dealers
Line item

When we look at furniture and home furnishing stores, BLS reports total employment of 454,600 jobs.  Not a small industry by any stretch.  Here is how BLS breaks down the employment of retail sales workers:

41-2000 Retail sales workers 230.1
41-2010 Cashiers 15.4
41-2011 Cashiers 15.4
41-2020 Counter and rental clerks and parts salespersons 0.6
41-2021 Counter and rental clerks 0.6
41-2031 Retail salespersons 214.0

The retail salespersons (41-2031) make up the largest group of employees under the umbrella of retail sales workers (41-2000).  Retail salesperson includes:

270.357-030    Salesperson, Furniture

That is a semi-skilled occupation and largely irrelevant for disability purposes absent transferable skills.  

The industry matrix gives the data by industry to permit looking at the allegation of widespread employment in the furniture rental industry.  Salespersons, whether selling or renting, is a semi-skilled position and represents almost half of total industry employment -- 454,600 jobs.  BLS again confirms that the unskilled occupation nestled inside of 41-2021 does not exist in significant numbers.   

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Counter Clerks -- DOT 249.366-010

Over the weekend, We discussed furniture rental consultants for the proposition that 34% require standing about half the time; that the SVP range is below; that the occupation is one of 24 in the O*NET classification of counter and rental clerks; and that the occupational group consists of 442,100 jobs in the national economy as of 2014. 

I know the next question.  What about counter clerk, photofinishing?  This occupation belongs to the same SOC group and the same comments, but a different industry. The DOT describes the occupation as occurring in the photofinishing industry.  That one is not listed in the excel spreadsheet that forms the Employment Projections from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, for  SOC group 41-2021.   So we have to use a different tool, the NAICS search.

NAICS stands for North American Industry Classification System.  We search by using the NAICS search.  Using photofinishing as the search term we get:


NAICS Code Common Keywords
Photographic Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 423410 Photofinishing equipment merchant wholesalers
Photofinishing Laboratories (except One-Hour) 812921 Film developing and printing (except motion picture, one-hour)
One-Hour Photofinishing 812922 One-hour photofinishing services

Counter clerks would not work in merchant wholesale so commonsense eliminates NAICS code 423410, Photographic Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers.  That leaves the two photofinishing six-digit codes.  County Business Patterns provides industry employment data: 

81292 Photofinishing 7,658142,926483,525724
812921 Photofinishing Laboratories (except One-Hour) 6,884138,479463,615536
812922 One-Hour Photofinishing 7744,44719,910188

The five-digit code is the parent, the two six-digit codes are the children.  Photofinishing Laboratories (except One-Hour) plus One-Hour Photofinishing(6,884 + 774) comprise photofinishing (7,758).

Wait, wait, now just wait one darn minute.  County Business Patterns says that total industry employment -- not just counter clerks -- amounts to 7,658 jobs?  We don't get to make up the numbers but we do get to read.  Let's check the employment projections but we will have to go up in specificity of the NAICS code because these two are too small. 

812900Other personal services0.70.2

Counter clerks cannot make up more than 700 jobs on the employment projections in the four-digit code for NAICS code 812900 Other Personal Services.  They represent 0.2% of industry employment.  In the photofinishing industry, counter clerks make up 15 jobs (0.002 * 7,658 = 15.3). 

How many counter clerk jobs exist in the national economy?  Taking administrative notice of the OOH along with the employment projections and the CBP using the NAICS search tool results in a total of 15 jobs in the nation.  The occupation does not exist in significant numbers.        

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Furniture Rental Consultants 295-357-018

Another -- you have got to be kidding me, right?  We are not allowed to ask a question like that during a Social Security administrative hearing.  But we want to ask, because the identification of the furniture rental consultant as representing 40,000 jobs in the nation doesn't make sense.  The reason that it doesn't make sense is that our commonsense is correct. 

Look at the occupation as it exists in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.  We can find the information on the web.  Here.  The occupation exists in the retail trade industry and it rents furniture and accessories. 

I rent cars on a regular basis -- several a year if not more.  If I wanted to fly or float, I would rent a plane or a boat, or just buy a ticket.  But I haven't rented furniture except when in college and don't know many people that do.  It isn't a big industry from a lay perspective.  But that is the beauty of taking judicial or administrative notice; we don't have to be experts to look stuff up.  Let's keep looking stuff up. 

Counter and rental clerks form a group of occupations because of their similar job duties under the O*NET as the Labor replacement to the DOT.  We can look at a detailed description of the occupation on the O*NET OnLine.  The work requires standing:

Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?See more occupations related to this work context.
15     Continually or almost continually
32     More than half the time
34     About half the time
13     Less than half the time
The work is semi-skilled or less. 

"SVP Range(Below 4.0)"

So for those sit-stand, light, and unskilled jobs, this remains a candidate.  But honestly, how many are there? 

The O*NET reports 442,000 counter and rental clerk jobs, in 24 different occupations.  One of the 24 is the furniture rental consultant.  The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports 442,100. 

The OOH and the O*NET rely on the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The occupation-industry matrix lists all the Standard Occupational Classification groups.  The line for counter and rental clerks, SOC group 41-2021 generates an excel spreadsheet that breaks down the occupational group by industry.

The employment projections for 41-2021 agree -- the occupational group has 442,100 jobs.  Almost half are in the real estate and rental and leasing industry sector (NAICS 53000).  The employment projections state that the retail trade sector (NAICS 44-450000) has 87,900 jobs.  That is the industry group specified by the DOT, so let's stick with that. 

Within the retail trade sector, 46,500 jobs exist in the motor vehicle and parts dealers industry group (NAICS 441000).  The furniture and home furnishing stores employ 600.  (NAICS 442000).  Within the industry group, counter and rental clerks make up 0.1% to 0.2% of industry employment. 

Code Title Employment Percent of industry

TE1000 Total employment 442.1 0.3

44-450 Retail trade 87.9 0.6
441000 Motor vehicle and parts dealers 46.5 2.5

442000 Furniture and home furnishings stores 0.6 0.1
Furniture stores
0.5 0.2

County Business Patterns provides industry employment data.  Sector 44 for retail trade (turn off LFO and noise flags) counts nationwide employment for the industry:

Compare AreasNAICS codeNAICS code descriptionPaid employees for pay period including March 12 (number)First-quarter payroll ($1,000)Annual payroll ($1,000)Total establishments

442 Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores 429,0733,026,40612,836,58450,595
4421 Furniture Stores 198,2201,668,0737,037,78623,567
44211 Furniture Stores 198,2201,668,0737,037,78623,567
442110 Furniture Stores 198,2201,668,0737,037,78623,567
4422 Home Furnishings Stores 230,8531,358,3335,798,79827,028
44221 Floor Covering Stores 63,011570,9822,513,66410,763
442210 Floor Covering Stores 63,011570,9822,513,66410,763
44229 Other Home Furnishings Stores 167,842787,3513,285,13416,265

Applying the employment projections percentage of employment yields 429 jobs as a furniture rental clerk; 386 of them in the furniture stores. 

That's it.  There are not and cannot be 40,000 or even 10,000 furniture rental clerks in the national economy.  There are less than 500.