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Today's Labor Force

Employment By Industry

According to preliminary estimates released by the BLS, in December 2005 there were 112.9 million Americans working in private, non-farm industry, including more than 22.1 million workers in the goods-producing sector. Approximately 14.3 million of those in the goods-producing industry worked in manufacturing. More than half of manufacturing workers (nine million; 63%) produced durable goods, while 5.3 million people in the manufacturing sector (37%) produced nondurable goods. (See Table 1.17.)

In December 2005, according to BLS preliminary data, 113 million people were employed in service-providing industries, with 90.7 million of them employed in the private sector. These figures include 12.5 million employees who worked in ambulatory health care centers, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities providing health care services; 1.2 million workers who were employed in legal services; 858,200 who worked for accounting and bookkeeping services; about three million employees who provided education services; and 15.7 million employees who occupied retail trade positions. The leisure and hospitality industry accounted for 12.5 million jobs. (See Table 1.17.) A service industry, which provides a service to the economy but employs more than service workers, differs from a service occupation. For example, a restaurant is a service industry. It may employ workers involved in service, such as waiters, but also employs secretaries, managers, and accountants, whose occupations are not considered service occupations.

Additional topics

Jobs and Career OpportunitiesCareers and Occupations: Looking to the FutureToday's Labor Force - Gender, Age, Race, And Ethnic Origin, Education, Families, The Working Poor