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The American Workplace - At-home Work

workers employed february million

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Between 1960 and 1980 the number of Americans working at home steadily declined, largely reflecting a drop in the number of family farmers as many gave up farming. In addition, many professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, left their home offices and joined group practices or larger firms in office buildings. This trend was reversed by 1990, according to data from the U.S. Census of that year, which showed a 56% increase over 1980 (to 3.4 million) in the number of people who worked at home. Data from the BLS in Work at Home in 2004 (September 22, 2005) indicated that more than 4.6 million Americans conducted a home-based business as their primary occupation and worked exclusively at home.

TABLE 2.8 Employed contingent and noncontingent workers by selected characteristics, February 2005 "Table 1. Employed Contingent and Noncontingent Workers by Selected Characteristics, February 2005," in Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements, February 2005, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 27, 2005, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/conemp.pdf (accessed January 10, 2006)

TABLE 2.8
Employed contingent and noncontingent workers by selected characteristics, February 2005
[In thousands]
Characteristic Total employed Contingent workers Noncontingent workers
Estimate 1 Estimate 2 Estimate 3
Note: Noncontingent workers are those who do not fall into any estimate of "contingent" workers. Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. In addition, persons whose ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and, therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race. Detail for other characteristics may not sum to totals due to rounding.
SOURCE: "Table 1. Employed Contingent and Noncontingent Workers by Selected Characteristics, February 2005," in Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements, February 2005, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 27, 2005, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/conemp.pdf (accessed January 10, 2006)
Age and sex
    Total, 16 years and over 138,952 2,504 3,177 5,705 133,247
    16 to 19 years 5,510 308 338 476 5,035
    20 to 24 years 13,114 606 688 1,077 12,036
    25 to 34 years 30,103 693 874 1,447 28,656
    35 to 44 years 34,481 415 580 1,044 33,437
    45 to 54 years 32,947 263 387 875 32,072
    55 to 64 years 17,980 143 198 536 17,445
    65 years and over 4,817 76 111 250 4,567
Men, 16 years and over 73,946 1,325 1,648 2,914 71,032
    16 to 19 years 2,579 145 157 229 2,351
    20 to 24 years 6,928 358 394 597 6,331
    25 to 34 years 16,624 395 512 829 15,794
    35 to 44 years 18,523 245 303 540 17,983
    45 to 54 years 17,193 95 140 368 16,825
    55 to 64 years 9,485 70 107 261 9,224
    65 years and over 2,615 17 35 92 2,523
Women, 16 years and over 65,006 1,180 1,529 2,790 62,216
    16 to 19 years 2,931 163 182 247 2,684
    20 to 24 years 6,186 249 294 481 5,705
    25 to 34 years 13,480 298 362 618 12,862
    35 to 44 years 15,958 171 277 504 15,454
    45 to 54 years 15,754 168 247 508 15,247
    55 to 64 years 8,495 73 91 275 8,220
    65 years and over 2,202 58 76 158 2,044
Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
White 115,043 2,007 2,534 4,521 110,522
Black or African American 14,688 296 387 660 14,028
Asian 6,083 121 161 350 5,733
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 18,062 603 704 1,185 16,876
Full- or part-time status
Full-time workers 113,798 1,367 1,812 3,410 110,387
Part-time workers 25,154 1,137 1,364 2,294 22,860

Work at Home as Part of Primary Job

In May 2004, 20.7 million people (10.8 million men, 9.9 million women) did some work at home as part of their primary job. This at-home work was unpaid work for 49.3% of this population, part of a wage and salaried job for 16.2% (who, for example, brought work home from the office to be completed in the evening), and was the principal remunerative for the 33.7% of workers who were self-employed. (See Table 2.11.)

White-collar occupations including management, financial, service, and sales positions constituted 85% of the 20.7 million work-at-home jobs in May 2004, according to the BLS in Work at Home in 2004. More than 13.4 million management, professional, and related occupations involved paid work done at home in May 2004. Industries that included work at home included education and health services (6.2 million), financial activities (2.2 million), construction (1.5 million), and manufacturing (1.5 million). Nearly one-quarter (24.5%) of people who worked in the professional and business services industry did some of their work at home in 2004, as did more than one-fifth of those employed in financial activities (22.4%) and education and health services (21.1%). (See Table 2.11.)

In May 2004, 3.3 million Americans aged sixteen years and older who earned a wage or salary worked at least part of the time at home. The mean weekly hours worked at home was 18.6, although at-home work was higher for service occupations (28.2 hours), sales and related occupations (20.8 hours), and office and administrative support occupations (22.4 hours). (See Table 2.12.)

TABLE 2.9 Employed workers with alternative and traditional work arrangements by selected characteristics, February 2005 "Table 5. Employed Workers with Alternative and Traditional Work Arrangements by Selected Characteristics, February 2005," in Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements, February 2005, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 27, 2005, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/conemp.pdf (accessed January 10, 2006)

TABLE 2.9
Employed workers with alternative and traditional work arrangements by selected characteristics, February 2005
[In thousands]
Characheristic Total employed Workers with alternative arrangements Workers with traditional arrangements
Independent contractors On-call workers Temporary help agency workers Workers provided by contract firms
Note: Workers with traditional arrangements are those who do not fall into any of the "alternative arrangements" categories. Detail may not add to totals because the total employed includes day laborers (an alternative arrangement, not shown separately) and a small number of workers who were both "on call" and "provided by contract firms." Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. In addition, persons whose ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and, therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race. Detail for other characteristics may not sum to totals due to rounding. Dash represents zero.
SOURCE: "Table 5. Employed Workers with Alternative and Traditional Work Arrangements by Selected Characteristics, February 2005," in Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements, February 2005, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 27, 2005, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/conemp.pdf (accessed January 10, 2006)
Age and sex
    Total, 16 years and over 138,952 10,342 2,454 1,217 813 123,843
    16 to 19 years 5,510 89 133 33 7 5,194
    20 to 24 years 13,114 356 355 202 87 12,055
    25 to 34 years 30,103 1,520 535 362 205 27,427
    35 to 44 years 34,481 2,754 571 253 196 30,646
    45 to 54 years 32,947 2,799 417 200 186 29,324
    55 to 64 years 17,980 1,943 267 135 114 15,496
    65 years and over 4,817 881 175 33 18 3,701
Men, 16 years and over 73,946 6,696 1,241 574 561 64,673
    16 to 19 years 2,579 32 82 24 7 2,389
    20 to 24 years 6,928 194 200 107 61 6,331
    25 to 34 years 16,624 1,006 299 185 138 14,950
    35 to 44 years 18,523 1,824 252 120 140 16,130
    45 to 54 years 17,193 1,764 209 71 143 15,003
    55 to 64 years 9,485 1,287 108 52 70 7,954
    65 years and over 2,615 589 91 16 3 1,917
Women, 16 years and over 65,006 3,647 1,212 643 252 59,170
    16 to 19 years 2,931 57 52 9 2,805
    20 to 24 years 6,186 162 155 95 27 5,724
    25 to 34 years 13,480 514 236 177 67 12,477
    35 to 44 years 15,958 930 319 133 57 14,516
    45 to 54 years 15,754 1,035 208 129 43 14,322
    55 to 64 years 8,495 656 158 83 44 7,542
    65 years and over 2,202 292 84 17 15 1,785
Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
White 115,043 9,169 2,097 840 637 102,052
Black or African American 14,688 583 212 276 121 13,471
Asian 6,083 370 64 63 43 5,538
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 18,062 951 385 255 133 16,202
Full- or part-time status
Full-time workers 113,798 7,732 1,370 979 695 102,889
Part-time workers 25,154 2,611 1,084 238 119 20,954
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