The vocational expert testified -- you know, under oath -- that packers exist at all exertional levels and that 30,000 existed in the national economy at the sedentary range of exertion. No DOT code, not a sedentary one anyway, just because the vocational expert said so. That is ipse dixit.
There are 111 DOT codes with the title of "packer." None of those require sedentary exertion. Of that accumulation of occupations, 61 of them belong to packers and packagers, hand (SOC 53-7064). Six belong to machine bearers and off-loaders (SOC 53-7063). Three belong to the ubiquitous production workers, all other (SOC 51-9199). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) scatters the rest in other occupational groups in clusters of eight, nine, eleven, and so forth. Our intrepid vocational expert identified packager, hand (DOT 920.587-018). For those so inclined to look it up -- yes, packager, hand requires medium exertion. It belongs to packers and packagers, hand (SOC 53-7064). And yes, the claimant has a limitation to sedentary exertion.
I know my way around the DOT, OOH, CBP, O*NET, and their related publications. How does anyone cross-examine this kind of bile in the context of an administrative hearing that is supposed to last 45 minutes. This occupation alone takes at least two hours to unpack, pun accidentally discovered and used with glee.
Start with the size of the occupational group of packers and packagers, hand (SOC code 53-7064). BLS put 59 DOT codes inside of the group. BLS counts jobs, after all, it specializes in labor statistics. BLS estimates that the occupational group consists of 705,660 jobs as of May 2016. This is up from 695,000 in May 2014. Engaging in gross, and statistical improper aggregation, the average DOT code represents circa 12,000 jobs. Two of the DOT codes in this group require sedentary exertion.
Ampoule sealer (DOT 559.687-014) exists in the pharmaceutical industry. The DOT describes the occupation as requiring sedentary exertion. Labor last updated this DOT code in 1977. It belongs to packers and packagers, hand (SOC 53-7064).
Hand bander (DOT 920.687-030) exists in the tobacco manufacturing industry. The DOT describes the occupation as requiring sedentary exertion. Labor last updated this DOT code in 1977. It belongs to packers and packagers, hand (SOC 53-7064).
First, let's to the O*NET. This comes from a joint effort of the Department of Labor and the Employment and Training Administration. The O*NET says that packers and packagers, hand spend time standing on the job:
By now, my confidence level in the vocational expert assertion that packing jobs exist at the sedentary range of exertion dwindles. Let's move to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), linked at the bottom of the page of the detail report tab in the O*NET for this group. The OOH puts packers and packagers, hand with other hand laborers and material movers. The OOH reports employment by industry for each SOC in the group.
On line 45 of the report, we find a report of packers and packagers, hand in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry for our ampoule sealer occupation:
Code Title Employment Industry
325400 Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 2.8 1.0
But I do remember that the vocational expert told us that packers exist at all levels of exertion. I suspect that Big Pharm employs a few hand packagers, that medium occupation. So the number is less than 2,800, probably less than half. Sealing ampoules is probably a fraction of the packing that goes on in the manufacture of pharmaceutical and medicine. Most of my clients get most of their medicine in tablet form.
Moving right along to hand bander occupation in the tobacco industry. The employment projection reports on line 26:
Code Title Employment Industry
3122000 Tobacco manufacturing 0.3 2.2
Read that again -- 300 packers and packagers, hand in the tobacco industry. I suspect, having retained my commonsense, that the tobacco industry produces a lot more than cigars and pack a lot more than the banding of cigars with a wrapper. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
Let's go to the second item of administrative notice, just in case some ALJ might want to swill the kool-aid of vocational expert ipse dixit. County Business Patterns reports:
Geograph. NAICS Industry Year Employment
|United States||3122||Tobacco manufacturing||2015||13,872|
|United States||31223||Tobacco manufacturing||2015||13,872|
|United States||312230||Tobacco manufacturing||2015||13,872|
|United States||3254||Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing||2015||242,329|
|United States||32541||Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing||2015||242,329|
|United States||325411||Medicinal and botanical manufacturing||2015||28,950|
|United States||325412||Pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing||2015||146,113|
|United States||325413||In-vitro diagnostic substance manufacturing||2015||25,818|
|United States||325414||Biological product (except diagnostic) manufacturing||2015||41,448|
Applying 2.2% of industry employment for tobacco manufacturing yields 305 jobs. Check.
Applying 1.0% of industry employment for pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing yields 2,423 jobs. Slightly lower, but check. We could back out jobs in codes 325413 and 325414 and reduce the number of jobs by 760, but at this point, we don't have to.
I have one request from the ALJ corps. Don't place productivity as the end all and be all of the process. Insist on a level of honesty and integrity that passes the disgusting test. This example of garbage testimony and equally garbage finding of fact -- just disgusting.