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OCC2010
Occupation, 2010 basis

Description

OCC2010 is a harmonized occupation coding scheme based on the Census Bureau's 2010 ACS occupation classification scheme. Similar variables are offered for the 1950 (OCC1950) and 1990 (OCC1990) classifications. OCC2010 offers researchers a consistent, long-term classification of occupations.

The Census Bureau has reorganized its occupational classification system in almost every census administered since 1850. All original occupational information is stored in the OCC variable. The meaning of codes in the OCC variable changes with each census year. The 2010 occupation coding scheme for OCC has 493 categories. In the interest of harmonization, however, the scheme has been modified to achieve the most consistent categories across time. That is, some categories that provide more detail in the 2010 scheme were grouped together because earlier categories are inseparable when more than one occupation is coded together. For users who wish to further aggregate occupation to broader categories, the 2010 scheme is generally organized by the following groups:

Management, Business, Science, and Arts = 10-430
Business Operations Specialists = 500-730
Financial Specialists = 800-950
Computer and Mathematical = 1000-1240
Architecture and Engineering = 1300-1540
Technicians = 1550-1560
Life, Physical, and Social Science = 1600-1980
Community and Social Services = 2000-2060
Legal = 2100-2150
Education, Training, and Library = 2200-2550
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media = 2600-2920
Healthcare Practitioners and Technicians = 3000-3540
Healthcare Support = 3600-3650
Protective Service = 3700-3950
Food Preparation and Serving = 4000-4150
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance = 4200-4250
Personal Care and Service = 4300-4650
Sales and Related = 4700-4965
Office and Administrative Support = 5000-5940
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry = 6005-6130
Construction = 6200-6765
Extraction = 6800-6940
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair = 7000-7630
Production = 7700-8965
Transportation and Material Moving = 9000-9750
Military Specific = 9800-9830
Unemployed (no occupation for 5+ years) or Never Worked = 9920

We followed a process of constructing and testing OCC2010 that is similar to OCC1990's process, which is discussed in more detail in this BLS working paper.

OCC1990 was created using a series of technical papers published by the Census Bureau shortly after each census was administered. These papers provide detailed analyses of how the occupational coding scheme for each census year differed from the scheme used during the previous census year. These occupational "crosswalks" are based on samples of cases that are "double coded" into the occupational schemes of the current and previous census year. The original Census Bureau crosswalks are available via links in "Occupation and Industry Variables" of the IPUMS documentation.

Using the information from the occupational crosswalks, we traced the proportion of each occupation as it broke out into more specific occupations or as it was combined with others into a more general occupation. To take one example from the technical paper produced after the 2000 census: of persons coded as "Gaming managers" in 2000 (2000 code 33), the Census Bureau determined that 35% would have been coded as "Managers, service organizations" in 1990 (1990 code 21), while 65% would have been coded as "Managers, food serving and lodging establishments" (1990 code 17). Thus, OCC1990 assigns a code of 17 to the cases in the 2000 IPUMS sample having an original 2000 OCC value of 33. We generated the same information for every occupational code in every census year from 1950-2000.

Researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) then used the resulting tables to create aggregated occupational categories that were more useful for long-term analyses. We have performed a variety of tests to ensure that the new categories are as robust as possible over the long-term. More specifics on their methods and a detailed comparison of OCC1950 and OCC1990 can be found in the BLS Working Paper on the topic.

Codes and Frequencies



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Comparability

This variable is comparable over time. Users should take note of the changing universe of persons subject to the occupation question (e.g., the rising minimum ages).

Universe

  • 1950: Persons age 14+ and in the labor force; not institutional inmates, not new workers.
  • 1960-1970: Persons age 14+ who had worked within the previous ten years; not new workers.
  • 1980-2000: Persons age 16+ who had worked within the previous five years; not new workers.
  • ACS, PRCS: Persons age 16+ who had worked within the previous five years; not new workers.

Availability

United States
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: ACS; ACS 3yr; ACS 5yr
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2004: All samples
  • 2003: All samples
  • 2002: All samples
  • 2001: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: All samples
  • 1960: All samples
  • 1950: All samples
  • 1940: --
  • 1930: --
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: --
  • 1900: --
  • 1880: --
  • 1870: --
  • 1860: --
  • 1850: --
Puerto Rico
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: PRCS; PRCS 3yr; PRCS 5yr
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: All samples
  • 1930: --
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: --

Flags

QOCC 

Editing Procedure

There is no editing procedure available for this variable.