THE PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL WORKFORCE

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1 Fact Sheet 2013 THE PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL WORKFORCE Introduction The professional and technical workforce is defined to include all workers in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) category management, professional, and related occupations. This broad occupation category is divided by BLS into 10 occupation categories. The occupation categories, including the number employed in 2012, are: Management occupations (16,042,000); Business and financial operations occupations (6,636,000); Computer and mathematical occupations (3,816,000); Architecture and engineering occupations (2,846,000); Life, physical, and social science occupations (1,316,000); Community and social service occupations (2,265,000); Legal occupations (1,786,000); Education, training, and library occupations (8,543,000); Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations (2,814,000; and Healthcare practitioner and technical occupations (7,977,000). In 2012, these occupations employed just over 54 million workers (38 percent of all those employed). 1 Professional and technical occupations are diverse, but tend to have post-secondary education and training in common. Most professional and technical occupations are middleclass jobs. Median full-time weekly earnings for workers in management, professional, and related occupations was $1,108 while the median for all full-time workers was $768 in Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Makeup The professional and technical workforce is majority female (51.5 percent of workforce). Except for Asians, there is underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities. In 2012: Although blacks and African Americans were 11.1 percent of the total workforce, they only accounted for 8.7 percent of the professional and technical workforce. Hispanic or Latinos were 15.4 percent of the workforce, but only 8.4 percent of the professional and technical workforce. Asians were 5.4 percent of the workforce, but made up 6.9 percent of the professional and technical workforce. 3

2 Professional Women Women are heavily concentrated in community and social service (63.8 percent of workforce), education, training, and library occupations (73.6 percent), and healthcare practitioner and technical occupations (75 percent of workforce). They are woefully underrepresented in computer and mathematical occupations (just 25.6 percent of workforce) and architecture and engineering occupations (13.7 percent of workforce). 4 Black or African American Professionals In 2012, there were approximately 4.7 million black or African American professionals employed in the U.S. This is up from 3.9 million in 2003 (representing a positive.5 percent change in density from 2003 to 2012). 5 In four occupational groupings, black or African American professionals had density that was above average compared to all black or African American professionals. In business and financial operations they were 9.8 percent of workforce, in community and social service they were 18.8 percent of workforce, in education, training, and library occupations they represented 9.5 percent of workforce, and among healthcare practitioner and technical occupations the workforce was 10.6 percent black or African American in Hispanic or Latino Professionals In 2012, over 4.5 million Hispanics or Latinos were employed in professional and technical occupations. This is up from just under three million Hispanic and Latino professionals in Overall, Hispanic and Latino professionals have gone from 6.1 percent density in 2003 to 8.4 percent in Hispanic or Latino professionals have above average density in management occupations (8.8 percent of workforce), community and social service occupations (11.1 percent of workforce), education, training, and library occupations (9.7 percent of workforce), and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations (8.9 percent of workforce). 7 In May 2013, nearly 4.9 million Hispanics and Latinos were employed in professional and technical occupations. Of those, 68 percent were native born U.S. citizens, 19 percent were U.S. citizens by naturalization, and 14 percent were not U.S. citizens (this includes workers employed on work visas and the undocumented). The occupations that employed the greatest number of Hispanics and Latinos that were not native born was management occupations, business and financial operations, and education, training, and library occupations. 8 Asian Professionals Asians are heavily concentrated in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics occupations. In 2012, Asians were 17.5 percent of the computer and mathematics workforce, 10.8 percent of architecture and engineering workforce, and 9.9 percent of the life, physical, and social sciences workforce. 9 DPE Fact Sheet The Professional and Technical Workforce Page 2 of 8

3 In May 2013, there were nearly 4.2 million Asians employed in professional and technical occupations. Of those 4.2 million, 27 percent were native born citizens, 46 percent were U.S. citizens by naturalization, and 27 percent were not U.S. citizens. 10 Asian Indians were 27 percent of the total Asian professional and technical workforce in the U.S., followed closely by Asians of Chinese descent (26 percent of Asian workforce). Asians of Filipino descent had the third highest concentration in the professional and technical workforce, making up 15 percent of the Asian workforce. Management occupations employ the highest number of professionals who are of Japanese and Korean descent. 11 Twenty-seven percent of Asians in the professional and technical workforce were not U.S. citizens in May This is of particular concern, because the lack of citizenship can mean fewer rights in the workplace. Asian Indians have the highest concentration of non-u.s. citizen workers, with 45 percent of the Asian Indian workforce not having U.S. citizenship. Of the 361,573 Asian Indians employed in computer and mathematical science occupations, 72 percent of them were not U.S. citizens in May Snapshot of Older Professionals In June 2013, there were approximately 83 million baby boomers (those born between 1943 and 1964) in the U.S. Almost 52 million are still in the workforce and among those 21.3 million are in the professional and technical workforce. The unemployment rate for those baby boomers still in the workforce was 5.4 percent in June In June 2013, among the older boomers, those ages 59 to 70, 54 percent are no longer in the workforce, 40 percent are retired, and 14 percent are out of the workforce due to disability or some other reason. 13 Boomers made up 38 percent of the professional and technical workforce and older boomers made up 13 percent of the professional and technical workforce in June Occupation categories with above average concentration of older boomers include management (16 percent of the workforce), community and social service (15 percent), legal (15 percent), and education (14 percent). The only occupation category that was well below average was computer and mathematics with seven percent of the workforce ages 59 through 70. The MetLife Report series on the oldest boomers has been surveying boomers born in 1946 since According to MetLife, the oldest boomers are retiring at faster rates than previously expected. Among boomers born in 1946, 52 percent were fully retired in Of the currently retired oldest boomers, more than half (54 percent) left the workforce earlier than planned. Twenty-five percent retired early because of job loss. Another 12 percent are retired, but working part-time or seasonally. The mean retirement age for the oldest boomers in 2012 was Young Professionals In October 2012, approximately 16.3 million workers between the ages of 22 and 35 were employed in professional and technical occupations. 15 In October 2012, the young professional workforce accounted for approximately 30 percent of the total professional workforce. When DPE Fact Sheet The Professional and Technical Workforce Page 3 of 8

4 compared to the whole workforce, professional and non-professional, young professionals account for 12.2 percent. 16 For many, entry into the professional workforce requires postsecondary education. In the academic year 2,610,313 bachelor s, master s, and doctor s degrees were awarded. The increasing shift toward advanced education translates into higher lifelong earnings for most, but it also results in significant student loan debt. The Project on Student Debt estimates that two-thirds (66%) of college seniors who graduated in 2011 had student loan debt, with an average of $26,600 for those with loans. 17 While approximately 10 million people graduated with a bachelor s degree or higher in the last four years, only 1.3 million new management, professional, and related jobs have been added. In addition, the education attainment of the current professional workforce shows that at least 30 percent of professional and technical jobs do not require a bachelor s degree or higher, thus, not all of the new 1.3 million jobs require a bachelor s degree or higher. The tight job market has been a barrier to young people entering the professional workforce, but the poor economy has also caused persistent and long-term unemployment for workers over 55. Union Density Union density varies widely depending on occupation. In 2012, 11.2 percent of the 16 and over workforce was a union member. Union density was higher among all management, professional, and related occupations, with 12.3 percent of the workforce counting themselves as union members. Professionals made up 40 percent of all union members in Education, training, and library occupations had the highest union density in 2012 with 35.3 percent union membership. Community and social service occupations had the second highest with 16.1 percent union membership. Healthcare practitioner and technical occupations also had above average union membership, 12.5 percent. 19 Education Attainment In June 2013, the majority of the professional and technical workforce, 64 percent, had a bachelor s degree or higher. Life, physical, and social service occupations had the highest concentration of workers with a bachelor s degree or higher, 83 percent. Management occupations had the lowest concentration of professionals with higher education, 53 percent. 20 DPE Fact Sheet The Professional and Technical Workforce Page 4 of 8

5 Professional and Technical Workforce by Highest Grade Completed Management 3,019,439 5,969,598 7,909,338 Business and Financial Operations 1,318,688 2,385,976 3,318,500 Computer and Mathematical 847,784 1,873,798 1,251,872 Architecture and Engineering 781,163 1,276, ,365 Life, Physical, and Social Science 701, , ,891 Community and Social Service 982, , ,938 Legal 293, ,129 1,230,695 Education, Training, and Library 1,998,440 3,836,576 3,129,509 Arts, Design, Entert., Sports & Media 434,442 1,567,177 1,237,524 Healthcare Practitioner and Technical 2,325,540 2,621,323 3,139,756 Master's Degree or Higher Bachelor's Degree Associate's Degree or Less Earnings and Unemployment The average annual mean wage for all occupations in 2012 was $45,790. Professionals fair better, earning an average annual mean wage of $72,771 in The highest paid professional workers in 2012 were managers, earning a mean annual wage of $108,570. Legal occupations came in at the second highest wage, earning a mean DPE Fact Sheet The Professional and Technical Workforce Page 5 of 8

6 annual wage of $98,570. Architects, engineers, and computer and mathematics professionals had similar earnings, $79,000 and $80,180, respectively. Healthcare practitioners; business and financial operations; and life, physical, and social science professionals earned a mean annual wage of about $70,000 in Gender and Race Pay Disparities Wage data from the BLS Household Data Annual Averages show significant disparity in the median weekly earnings of men and women in professional and technical occupations. On average, men earned $1,279 per week and women earned $976 per week. This equates to a 24 percent wage gap. The smallest wage gap was in community and social service occupations where men made $49 more per week than their female colleagues. The largest wage gap was in legal occupations where men made $871 more per week than women. 23 The 2011 American Community Survey show that the pay gap for black professionals measured against all races was 21 percent. American Indians and Alaska Native professionals fared even worse, with a 27 percent wage gap when compared to all professionals. 24 Among all professional and technical occupation categories, Asians as a whole earn higher salaries than whites and all other races. Asians in management; computer and mathematical; architecture and engineering; life, physical, and social sciences; arts, entertainment, media, and sports; and healthcare practitioner and technical occupations earned higher salaries than all other races in Unemployment The unemployment rate for management, professional, and related occupations was 4.1 percent in June 2013 (2.3 million unemployed). The unemployment rate among the 10 occupational groupings ranged from 1.9 to 7.7 percent. In the summer of 2007, prior to the recession that began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, the average unemployment rate for management, professional, and related occupations was about 2.4 percent. 26 The unemployment rate among all workers was 7.6 percent in June The unemployment rate does not include workers who are underemployed (someone with a bachelor s degree working in a job that requires a high school education) or recent graduates who have not been able to find a job. DPE Fact Sheet The Professional and Technical Workforce Page 6 of 8

7 Unemployment Rate by Occupation Group, June 2013 Management Business and Financial Operations Computer and Mathematical Architecture and Engineering Life, Physical, and Social Science Community and Social Service Legal Education, Training, and Library Arts, Design, Entert., Sports & Media Healthcare Practitioner and Technical 1.9% 3.4% 3.8% 4.3% 3.9% 3.5% 3.1% 5.1% 6.6% 7.7% 0.0% 1.0% 2.0% 3.0% 4.0% 5.0% 6.0% 7.0% 8.0% For more information on professional and technical workers, check DPE s website: The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) comprises 20 AFL-CIO unions representing over four million people working in professional and technical occupations. DPE-affiliated unions represent: teachers, college professors, and school administrators; library workers; nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals; engineers, scientists, and IT workers; journalists and writers, broadcast technicians and communications specialists; performing and visual artists; professional athletes; professional firefighters; psychologists, social workers, and many others. DPE was chartered by the AFL-CIO in 1977 in recognition of the rapidly growing professional and technical occupations. Source: DPE Research Department th Street, N.W., 7 th Floor Washington, DC Contact: Jennifer Dorning July 2013 (202) extension 114 DPE Fact Sheet The Professional and Technical Workforce Page 7 of 8

8 1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Household Data Annual Averages Table 11 Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Household Data Annual Averages Table 39 Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by detailed occupation and sex BLS, Table BLS, Table U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Household Data Annual Averages Table 11 Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. 2003, BLS, Table BLS, Table U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, Current Population Survey, Basic Monthly Microdata, May BLS, Table U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, Current Population Survey, Basic Monthly Microdata, May Ibid. 12 Ibid. 13 U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, Current Population Survey, Basic Monthly Microdata, June Amy Goyer, The MetLife Report on The Oldest Boomers: Healthy, Retireing Rapidly and Collecting Social Security, May MetLife Mature Market Institute. 15 U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, Current Population Survey, Basic Monthly Microdata, October U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, Current Population Survey, Basic Monthly Microdata, October 2012; U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, Table 1 National employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey by occupation, May Matthew Reed and Debbie Cochrane, Student Debt and the Class of 2011, The Project on Student Debt; The Institute for College Access & Success, October Barry T. Hirsch and David A Macpherson Union Membership and Coverage Database from the Current Population Survey. 19 Ibid. 20 U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, Current Population Survey, Basic Monthly Microdata, June U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. 22 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment of Wages, May 2012, 23 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Household Data Annual Averages Table 39 Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by detailed occupation and sex U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata, Ibid. 26 U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, Current Population Survey, Basic Monthly Microdata, June 2007, July 2007, August 2007, September DPE Fact Sheet The Professional and Technical Workforce Page 8 of 8

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