Friday, June 29, 2018

Helpers - Production Workers Overwhelmingly Require Medium and Heavy Exertion


The DOT crosswalk inside of the O*NET lists 553 distinct DOT codes that form helpers - production workers.  Of that 553 occupations, 12 unskilled sedentary; 157 unskilled light; 172 unskilled medium; 105 unskilled heavy; and 6 unskilled very heavy.  The other 101 require skills.  The OOH describes the group:

Occupational Outlook Handbook Report

Quick Facts: Helpers--production workers
Typical Entry-Level Education
High school diploma or equivalent
Work experience in a related occupation
None
On the job training
Short-term on-the-job training
Number of jobs, 2016
426,000
Employment Projections


We really need to know how many of these occupations require light and sedentary exertion. For that, we turn to the OccuCollect compilation of the Occupational Requirements Survey.
Series ID: ORUP1000030A00000663
Not seasonally adjustedSeries Title: % of helpers--production workers; strength is medium work
Requirement: Physical Demands
Occupation: helpers--production workers
Estimate: strength is medium work
YearPeriodEstimate
2017Annual74.6
https://beta.bls.gov/dataViewer/view/timeseries/ORUP1000030A00000663
Almost three quarters of the jobs require medium exertion even though a third of the DOT codes suggest medium exertion as the typical requirements. Let's run down the rabbit hole a bit further:
Series ID: ORUP1000030A00000664
Not seasonally adjustedSeries Title: % of helpers--production workers; strength is heavy work
Requirement: Physical Demands
Occupation: helpers--production workers
Estimate: strength is heavy work
YearPeriodEstimate
2017Annual15.2
https://beta.bls.gov/dataViewer/view/timeseries/ORUP1000030A00000664
This incidence of heavy work brings the total to 89.8%. We have not accounted for very heavy exertion but the amount of light and sedentary work cannot exceed 10.2% of the occupational base.

We can examine standing/walking to get more insight:
Series ID: ORUP1000030A00001004
Not seasonally adjustedSeries Title: helpers--production workers; % of day standing/walking is required (10th percentile)
Requirement: Physical Demands
Occupation: helpers--production workers
Estimate: % of day standing/walking is required (10th percentile)
YearPeriodEstimate
2017Annual75
https://beta.bls.gov/dataViewer/view/timeseries/ORUP1000030A00001004
At the 10th percentile, helpers - production workers stand/walk about 6 hours per day or less. Remember that the percentile describes everything below that point in line. How about lifting/carrying:
Series ID: ORUP1000030A00000234
Not seasonally adjustedSeries Title: helpers--production workers; pounds maximum weight lifted/carried (10th percentile)
Requirement: Physical Demands
Occupation: helpers--production workers
Estimate: pounds maximum weight lifted/carried (10th percentile)
YearPeriodEstimate
2017Annual20
https://beta.bls.gov/dataViewer/view/timeseries/ORUP1000030A00000234
If the maximum weight lifted is 20 pounds, does that make the occupation light? No. If the maximum weight is lifted frequently during the day, the work is medium. If the maximum weight lifted is lifted constantly during the day, the work is heavy. A constant exertion of negligible force constitutes light exertion, if the frequent lifting/carrying is less than or equal to 10 pounds and occasional lifting/carrying is less than or equal to 20 pounds.
Series ID: ORUP1000030A00000261
Not seasonally adjustedSeries Title: % of helpers--production workers; lifting/carrying negligible weight is required, constantly
Requirement: Physical Demands
Occupation: helpers--production workers
Estimate: lifting/carrying negligible weight is required, constantly
YearPeriodEstimate
2017Annual20.6
https://beta.bls.gov/dataViewer/view/timeseries/ORUP1000030A00000261
This data suggests that at least half of the constant lift/carry of negligible weight require medium or greater exertion.

There are fewer than 43,000 jobs that require sedentary, light, and very heavy jobs within this classification. The 10th percentile marks the cutoff for standing/walking six hours in an eight-hour day. The ORS reports the mean, 25th, and 10th percentiles for sitting. This data suggests very few sedentary jobs and any identifiable light occupation would represent very few jobs.

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