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February 2003, Vol. 126, No.2
Computer and Internet use at work in 2001
Steven Hipple and Karen Kosanovich
The personal computer is becoming a hallmark of the workplace in postindustrial America. The advent of microcomputers in the mid-1970s expanded both the use of computers and employees’ computer skills in the workplace. For many people, computers have become an indispensable tool on the job. In September 2001, 72.3 million individuals used a computer at work, accounting for 53.5 percent of total employment; in addition, about 2 of every 5 employed persons connected to the Internet or used e-mail while on the job.1
These findings are from a special supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted in September 2001.2 The Computer and Internet Use Survey obtained information on computer and Internet or e-mail use at home, school, and work, as well as on the use of the Internet for job searches. The data presented in this article pertain to computer and Internet use at work and to job searches using the Internet.3 (For further information about the survey, see the appendix.)
This excerpt is from an article published in the February 2003 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 In the survey that is to be discussed, respondents were asked whether they "connected to the Internet or used e-mail." In this article, these two tasks will be collectively referred to as "Internet use."
2 The CPS is a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides information on demographic characteristics of the labor force and the employment status of the noninstitutionalized population aged 16 years and older.
3 A recent report by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, also based on the CPS Computer and Internet Use Survey, provides a comprehensive overview of computer and Internet use at all locations: home, school, and work. (See A Nation Online: How Americans Are Expanding Their Use of the Internet (National Telecommunications and Information Administration, February 2002); on the Internet at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/dn/index.html.)
Related BLS programs
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
Role of computers in reshaping the work force, The.—Aug. 1996.
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