Friday, August 11, 2017

Production Workers, All Other and the Existence of Any Sedentary Work

Continuing with the recurring theme of production workers, all other, we examine the amount of standing and walking required of SOC group 51-9199.  BLS/OES data tells us that 251,670 jobs in exist the occupational group as of May 2015.  The Occupational Outlook Handbook gives us 236,200 jobs as of May 2014.  The O*NET OnLine repeats the OOH number of jobs and affirms that the group is a residual basket for occupations that don't fit within any group and that it lacks consistency within the group.

The inquiry focuses on the 1,590 or 1,526 of occupations -- just how many of the jobs might permit sedentary exertion?  The sedentary unskilled range represents 52 occupations.  Even big numbers are countable.  This one is not too big.

Labor continues to work on better data for the replacement to the DOT.  BLS Data Finder now provides access to current data through the Occupational Requirements Survey.  By clicking on the Data Finder button, we start the process.  We look for production AND worker; select Occupational Requirements as the survey; Occupation Requirements as the characteristics; Physical Requirement as the characteristic category; and Sitting/Standing/Walking as the characteristic category detail.  This gives 282 data reports form occupations containing the words production AND worker.

I find the reports on the second page, sorted by relevance, and showing 20 results per screen.  Production workers, all other and BLS provides date for the percent of the day standing or walking for the 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles; hours of standing/walking for the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles; as well as the mean for both percentages and hours of standing/walking.

The focus remains on the search for evidence of sedentary work.  BLS already told us that 82.2% of the production workers, all other jobs require medium exertion.  The hallmark of sedentary work remains the sitting.  The 50th percentile will capture all those medium jobs, but let's look at that report anyway:

          Data extracted on: Aug 11, 2017 (9:35:30 AM)

Occupational Requirements Survey

Series Title : Civilian workers; production workers, all other; hours of standing/walking (50th percentile - median)
Series ID : ORUP1000031A00000128
Seasonality : Not Seasonally Adjusted
Survey Name : Occupational Requirements Survey
Measure Data Type : Hours
Industry : All workers
Occupation : Production Workers, All Other
Class of Worker : All workers
Requirements : Physical Requirement
Type of cases : Standing/walking

Latest Observation: 
Annual 2016 
  7.25

Annual 2016 - Annual 2016 
  Minimum Value: Annual 2016 
  7.25

Maximum Value: Annual 2016 
  7.25

Data Availability: 
  2016 - 2016

Alright, serendipitous to chip away at the six hours of standing/walking as allowing medium work but there it is.  Now let's drop to that 10th percentile to see where the quest for sedentary work takes us:

          Data extracted on: Aug 11, 2017 (9:39:46 AM)

Occupational Requirements Survey

Series Title : Civilian workers; production workers, all other; hours of standing/walking (10th percentile)
Series ID : ORUP1000031A00000126
Seasonality : Not Seasonally Adjusted
Survey Name : Occupational Requirements Survey
Measure Data Type : Hours
Industry : All workers
Occupation : Production Workers, All Other
Class of Worker : All workers
Requirements : Physical Requirement
Type of cases : Standing/walking
Latest Observation: 
  Annual 2016 
  6.00

Annual 2016 - Annual 2016 
  Minimum Value: Annual 2016 
  6.00

Maximum Value: Annual 2016 
  6.00

Data Availability: 2016 - 2016

That result is clearly in the light range.  This means that 90% of all production workers, all other stand/walk for six hours or more during a typical workday.  How fast does the data string spread out to get down to less than three hours in a day for this group?  These data do not answer that question.  

For the broader classification of production occupations, a group of occupations that includes production workers, all other, the data report 96% of the occupations require heavy, medium, or light work.  We will discuss those reports another day but it is probably safe to assume that the sedentary work in production workers, all other represents less than 5% of the occupational base -- unskilled, skilled, and semiskilled.  



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