The Herfindahl-Hirschman index and occupational concentration by industry
March 05, 2014
Some occupations are found in nearly every industry in the United States, while others are specific to one or only a few industries. The Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI) can be used to provide a measure of occupational concentration by industry.
Office clerks, general
Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive
General and operations managers
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants
First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers
Administrative services managers
Training and development specialists
Payroll and timekeeping clerks
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping
Human resources managers
Training and development managers
NOTE: Industry concentration, which is not shown on the chart, is measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI), calculated by industry sector. A higher HHI indicates that the occupation was found primarily in a few industries, whereas a lower value indicates that the occupation was spread more evenly across industries.
Occupations that were spread most evenly across industry sectors, as measured by low HHIs, included two management occupations with broad job duties: chief executives and general and operations managers, with employment of 255,940 and 1,899,460, respectively in May 2012.
Most of the remaining occupations with low HHIs were related to general office administration or human resources.
Occupations associated with general office administration included general office clerks; secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive; bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, and first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers. Well over 1 million workers were employed in each of these occupations in May 2012.
Human resources occupations with low industry concentrations ranged from the managerial level through the clerical level, and included human resources managers; training and development managers; training and development specialists; human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping; and payroll and timekeeping clerks.
Occupations with low industry concentrations may allow more mobility for jobseekers as they look for jobs in various industries and geographical areas.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, The Herfindahl-Hirschman index and occupational concentration by industry on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140305.htm (visited March 29, 2015).
Three recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Trends in long-term unemployment
Long-term unemployment reached historically high levels following the recession of 2007–2009.
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.
Women veterans in the labor force examines the demographic, employment, and unemployment characteristics of women veterans.