Jobs and Career Opportunities » Careers and Occupations: Looking to the Future » The American Workplace - A Workplace In Transition, Movement Of Work, The Shift To A Service Economy, How Much Time Do Americans Spend At Work?

The American Workplace - The Shift To A Service Economy

jobs million industry workers

Get information on degree programs, masters degrees and online degrees at CampusExplorer.com

According to researcher Joseph R. Meisenheimer II ("The Services Industry in the 'Good' Versus 'Bad' Jobs Debate," Monthly Labor Review, February 1998), the TABLE 2.1 Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population, 1940–2005 [CONTINUED] "Table 1. Employment Status of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population, 1940 to Date," in Current Population Survey, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat1.pdf (accessed March 21, 2006)American economy has undergone a fundamental shift since the conclusion of World War II, at which time service industries accounted for 10% of nonfarm employment, compared with 38% for manufacturing. Since the 1970s the American economy has moved away from producing goods to providing services, and the service-producing sector has accounted for an increasing proportion of workers. In 1970, for example, there were 48.8 million service-providing workers, and 22.2 million people in the goods-producing sector, representing a service-to-goods ratio of 2.2 to one. (See Table 2.2.) By 2000, the number of workers in the service-providing sector was 107.1 million, compared with 24.6 million in the goods-producing sector, representing a service-to-goods ratio of 4.4 to one. In 2005, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and published in Establishment Data Historical Employment (2005), workers who provided services (111.5 million) outnumbered workers who produced goods (22.1 million) by a ratio of five to one.
TABLE 2.1
Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population, 1940–2005 [CONTINUED]
[Numbers in thousands]
Year Clvilian noninstitutional population Civilian labor force Not in labor force
Total Percent of population Employed Unemployed
Total Percent of population Agriculture Nonagricultural industries Number Percent of labor force
*Not strictly comparable with data for prior years.
SOURCE: "Table 1. Employment Status of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population, 1940 to Date," in Current Population Survey, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat1.pdf (accessed March 21, 2006)
1990* 189,164 125,840 66.5 118,793 62.8 3,223 115,570 7,047 5.6 63,324
1991 190,925 126,346 66.2 117,718 61.7 3,269 114,449 8,628 6.8 64,578
1992 192,805 128,105 66.4 118,492 61.5 3,247 115,245 9,613 7.5 64,700
1993 194,838 129,200 66.3 120,259 61.7 3,115 117,144 8,940 6.9 65,638
1994* 196,814 131,056 66.6 123,060 62.5 3,409 119,651 7,996 6.1 65,758
1995 198,584 132,304 66.6 124,900 62.9 3,440 121,460 7,404 5.6 66,280
1996 200,591 133,943 66.8 126,708 63.2 3,443 123,264 7,236 5.4 66,647
1997* 203,133 136,297 67.1 129,558 63.8 3,399 126,159 6,739 4.9 66,836
1998* 205,220 137,673 67.1 131,463 64.1 3,378 128,085 6,210 4.5 67,547
1999* 207,753 139,368 67.1 133,488 64.3 3,281 130,207 5,880 4.2 68,385
2000* 212,577 142,583 67.1 136,891 64.4 2,464 134,427 5,692 4.0 69,994
2001 215,092 143,734 66.8 136,933 63.7 2,299 134,635 6,801 4.7 71,359
2002 217,570 144,863 66.6 136,485 62.7 2,311 134,174 8,378 5.8 72,707
2003* 221,168 146,510 66.2 137,736 62.3 2,275 135,461 8,774 6.0 74,658
2004* 223,357 147,401 66.0 139,252 62.3 2,232 137,020 8,149 5.5 75,956
2005* 226,082 149,320 66.0 141,730 62.7 2,197 139,532 7,591 5.1 76,762

From 1992 to 2005, construction was the only industry in the goods-producing area that consistently employed more workers each year (4.6 million in 1992, 7.2 million in 2005). The number of employees working in natural resources and mining has fallen significantly in the past two decades. From a fifty-year industry high of 1.2 million workers in 1981, the natural resources and mining sector decreased to 629,000 people in 2005. The number of workers in manufacturing remained roughly the same from 1970 (17.8 million workers) through 2000 (17.3 million workers). Since then, however, this sector has experienced a steady decline. In 2005, according to Establishment Data Historical Employment, 14.3 million people worked in manufacturing. The proportion of manufacturing jobs has fallen from 30.6% of all nonfarm jobs in 1955 to 10.7% in 2005. In contrast, the service-providing industries accounted for 83.4% of nonfarm employment in 2005. (See Table 2.2.)

Service-producing industries include jobs in transportation, wholesale and retail trade, services, finance, public service (government), and more. Within the service-producing industry, service industry jobs are found in legal services, hotels, health services, educational services, and social services, among others. However, all jobs within the service industry are not necessarily service occupations. For example, while hotels are part of the services industry within the service-producing sector, they not only employ workers who are in service occupations, but also secretaries, managers, and accountants whose occupations are not considered service occupations.

The largest category of service-providing jobs is found in the group of trade, transportation, and utilities occupations (23.1% in 2005). Federal, state, and local government jobs (21.8 million) accounted for 19.5% of the total service-providing jobs in 2005. (See Table 2.2.)

Because average wages are higher in manufacturing than in services, some observers view the shift in employment from goods-producing to service-providing as a change from "good" to "bad" jobs. Meisenheimer, however, found TABLE 2.2 Employees on nonfarm payrolls by major industry sector, 1955–2005that many service industries equal or exceed manufacturing and other industries on measures of job quality, while some service industries could be viewed as less desirable by these measures.

TABLE 2.2
Employees on nonfarm payrolls by major industry sector, 1955–2005
[In thousands]
Year and month Total Total private Goods-producing
Total goods producing Natural resources and mining Construction Manufacturing
Annual averages
1955 50,744 43,722 19,234 828 2,881 15,524
1956 52,473 45,087 19,799 859 3,082 15,858
1957 52,959 45,235 19,669 864 3,007 15,798
1958 51,426 43,480 18,319 801 2,862 14,656
1959a 53,374 45,182 19,163 789 3,050 15,325
1960 54,296 45,832 19,182 771 2,973 15,438
1961 54,105 45,399 18,647 728 2,908 15,011
1962 55,659 46,655 19,203 709 2,997 15,498
1963 56,764 47,423 19,385 694 3,060 15,631
1964 58,391 48,680 19,733 697 3,148 15,888
1965 60,874 50,683 20,595 694 3,284 16,617
1966 64,020 53,110 21,740 690 3,371 17,680
1967 65,931 54,406 21,882 679 3,305 17,897
1968 68,023 56,050 22,292 671 3,410 18,211
1969 70,512 58,181 22,893 683 3,637 18,573
1970 71,006 58,318 22,179 677 3,654 17,848
1971 71,335 58,323 21,602 658 3,770 17,174
1972 73,798 60,333 22,299 672 3,957 17,669
1973 76,912 63,050 23,450 693 4,167 18,589
1974 78,389 64,086 23,364 755 4,095 18,514
1975 77,069 62,250 21,318 802 3,608 16,909
1976 79,502 64,501 22,025 832 3,662 17,531
1977 82,593 67,334 22,972 865 3,940 18,167
1978 86,826 71,014 24,156 902 4,322 18,932
1979 89,932 73,864 24,997 1,008 4,562 19,426
1980 90,528 74,154 24,263 1,077 4,454 18,733
1981 91,289 75,109 24,118 1,180 4,304 18,634
1982 89,677 73,695 22,550 1,163 4,024 17,363
1983 90,280 74,269 22,110 997 4,065 17,048
1984 94,530 78,371 23,435 1,014 4,501 17,920
1985 97,511 80,978 23,585 974 4,793 17,819
1986 99,474 82,636 23,318 829 4,937 17,552
1987 102,088 84,932 23,470 771 5,090 17,609
1988 105,345 87,806 23,909 770 5,233 17,906
1989 108,014 90,087 24,045 750 5,309 17,985
1990 109,487 91,072 23,723 765 5,263 17,695
1991 108,374 89,829 22,588 739 4,780 17,068
1992 108,726 89,940 22,095 689 4,608 16,799
1993 110,844 91,855 22,219 666 4,779 16,774
1994 114,291 95,016 22,774 659 5,095 17,021
1995 117,298 97,866 23,156 641 5,274 17,241
1996 119,708 100,169 23,410 637 5,536 17,237
1997 122,776 103,113 23,886 654 5,813 17,419
1998 125,930 106,021 24,354 645 6,149 17,560
1999 128,993 108,686 24,465 598 6,545 17,322
2000 131,785 110,996 24,649 599 6,787 17,263
2001 131,826 110,707 23,873 606 6,826 16,441
2002 130,341 108,828 22,557 583 6,716 15,259
2003 129,999 108,416 21,816 572 6,735 14,510
2004 131,480 109,862 21,884 591 6,964 14,329
2005b 133,631 111,836 22,141 629 7,233 14,279

Meisenheimer stressed the importance of examining more than just average pay when assessing the quality of jobs in each industry. Within each industry, there are jobs at a variety of different quality levels. The quality of service-industry jobs is especially diverse, encompassing many of the "best" jobs in the economy along with a substantial share of the "worst." Thus, employment shifts away from manufacturing and toward services that can, but do not necessarily, signal deterioration in overall domestic job quality.

The American Workplace - How Much Time Do Americans Spend At Work? [next] [back] The American Workplace - Movement Of Work

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

We had the manufacturing and we had the balanced budgets.



Now they have the manufactuting and we go to them and beg for money.



You can't figure out what went wrong?

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

http://3th.co.in/
http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/
http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

http://www.export5th.in/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-pune/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-mumbai/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-bangalore/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-hyderabad/

Vote down Vote up

over 7 years ago

Currently, America's economy and standard of living are supported by trade and budget deficits. We are giving paper money to the rest of the world in return for tangible goods so at the moment we are getting a free ride. This is unsustainable in the long run. American wages are too high compared to the third world so America cannot afford its own manufacturing without dropping the standard of living and reducing the consumption to a much lower sustainable level.

Vote down Vote up

about 4 years ago

I remember when a gallon of gas was
25 cents. Now that same gallon of gas
is almost $4.00. In my appinion, you are getting a lot less, for a lot more.

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

What can be made of this fact? It exists in total isolation. As far as any theory of structural linguistics is concerned it is right off the graph, and yet it persists.
Best regards, Sofia, CEO of microsoft iscsi initiator vista

Vote down Vote up

over 3 years ago

In my honest opinion of the matter I feel as though many of the "first generation" of hard working people(as I would call them) are burnt out on trying to make a living on the limited skills they posses. Thereby, leaving things up to this generation of people. All of the natural hard work that was in focus back then is no longer the focus now. Many people are looking for an easier way of making a living.
So there is almost no long people that wants to clean the yard for themselves as a way of getting things done and relaxing. Instead, most people choose to hire a service company to do it for them while they move on to better things.
Nothing is wrong with that, because EVERYONE needs work. But not as many people willing to work in the sun verses the air condition. To me bottom line is most desire to seek more and more comfort in life rather then creating comfort for life.

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

The American Workplace - The Shift To A Service Economy

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

The American Workplace - The Shift To A Service Economy

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-pune/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

http://www.adword.co.in/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/

Vote down Vote up

about 3 years ago

Now that i have seen the major shift in the workforce and the numbers shown for the service industry overall i am sure that the manufacturing industry may continue to decline and service the change of becomming a service economy was inevitable the numbers support themsleves