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. 



  1. Larry, Every small rural town in America has one if not two furniture rental places. it is big business in the red states. a friend who owned a slew of these places just sold out for 92 million dollars. He employed over 250 in his 19 stores.

  2. The burdensome task of overcoming statistics ...