Abolished Occupations–What Does the National Compensation Survey Tell Us?

Source: Jason L. Ford, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Compensation and Working Conditions (CWC), October 31, 2011

The National Compensation Survey (NCS) can be a source of information for analyzing abolished occupations. An abolished occupation is one that was in the NCS sample in one round and was later dropped from the survey because the employer discontinued the occupation, the employer went out of business, or the employer closed a worksite at a particular location. In the NCS, an occupation is an employee or group of employees classified by the employer as being in the same position and having identical status in terms of classification as full or part time, union or nonunion, time or incentive pay, and work level. An employer can lose most or all of the employees in an occupation and still not abolish the occupation; as long as plans exist to hire future workers, the NCS does not consider the occupation to have been abolished. This article analyzes data from the NCS on abolished occupations and shows, among other findings, that abolished occupations are more common in private industry than in government and more common in nonunion occupations than in union occupations.

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