This post is the first in a three part series on staffing patterns. In Part I we’ll identify the occupation sectors with the strongest, most consistent presence across industry sectors. In Part II we’ll pull the top five occupation sectors out and examine them to see why they show up on that list. In Part III we’ll look at how the 20 industry sectors relate to five-digit occupations.
Two of the greatest advantages of EMSI’s integrated tools and data are:
(1) Industry and occupation data in a single tool (Analyst).
(2) The way those industry and occupation data types, usually disconnected in the wild, talk to each other easily in EMSI data.
This close connection is due to our “staffing patterns.” We have each industry mapped to occupations for every region in the US. This means that we can look at an industry like computer systems design services in a given county and show that this industry staffs 900 computer software engineers, 300 computer systems analysts, and so on. We can show employment numbers for each occupation within the industry.
We usually use staffing patterns to analyze a single industry or an industry cluster. In this instance we decided look at how industry sectors — sectors here meaning high level aggregations of industries — relate to occupation sectors. The result is a set of data that focuses on very broad relationships between groups of occupations and groups of industries.
The first thing we did with the data was calculate the average percentage employment by industry for each occupation group. This means that we found the percentage employment for each occupation sector in each industry sector, and then averaged them.
Every occupation sector has some industry sectors where they have a strong presence, and others where their presence is weak or non-existent. Finding the average percentage helps us identify occupation sectors with strong presence in many industry sectors.
|Occupation Sector||Average Employment % Across All Industry Sectors|
|Office and administrative support occupations||17.5%|
|Sales and related occupations||8.8%|
|Transportation and material moving occupations||7.7%|
|Construction and extraction occupations||6.6%|
|Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations||6.0%|
|Food preparation and serving related occupations||5.8%|
|Business and financial operations occupations||5.4%|
|Education, training, and library occupations||4.6%|
|Personal care and service occupations||3.6%|
|Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations||3.5%|
|Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations||3.3%|
|Computer and mathematical science occupations||3.2%|
|Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations||2.5%|
|Architecture and engineering occupations||2.1%|
|Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations||2.1%|
|Protective service occupations||1.5%|
|Healthcare support occupations||1.3%|
|Life, physical, and social science occupations||1.0%|
|Community and social services occupations||0.7%|
The first table gives us the average percentage for each occupation sector across all industry sectors. It’s ranked in descending order with the highest percentage at the top.
Office, sales, and transportation occupations appear in strong concentrations across all industries — as we would expect — so there they are, right at the top. Unpacking that number: on average, over 17% of industries are composed of office and administration occupations.
As we scan down the list, we might not find anything here that gives us pause. We would expect most industries to staff office occupations, so that sector lapping all of the other sectors makes sense. Many industries have to sell goods and services, so it also makes sense for those occupations to make a strong showing.
So, if this chart doesn’t show us anything really different or strange, what’s the point of looking at it?
What we learn from looking at these data isn’t something that translates into a total reorganization of how we think about industries and occupations, but it does help us to identify occupation sectors that are more expansive versus those that are more insular.
It helps us understand that office occupations are more gregarious, so to speak. They’re involved in lots of different industry sectors. And legal or military occupations are relatively insular, staffed in smaller proportions across fewer industries.
Having identified the more outgoing occupation sectors, our next post will look at the top five of these and go into greater detail about what makes them show up on this list.
Illustration by Mark Beauchamp.