November 22, 1999
Employment in the electric services industry fell from a peak of 454,400 in 1990 to 368,300 in 1997. During this period, the industry saw both increases in output and, beginning in 1992, significant deregulation.
Employment declines in electric services occurred each year in the 1991-97 period, despite steady growth in employment for the economy as a whole. The U.S. Congress passed legislation in both 1992 and 1996 that deregulated certain aspects of the industry.
At the same time that employment in the electric services industry was falling, the Nation’s output of electricity was rising. Total output grew 14 percent from 1991 to 1996, while employment in electric services fell 14 percent over the same period.
These employment data are a product of the BLS Covered Employment and Wages program. Also, these employment data pertain to SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) 4911, electric services. Although electric power generation and distribution are also provided by combination utilities (classified in SIC 493), employment data presented here refer only to SIC 4911. Find out more in "Employment and other trends in the electric services industry," by David McDermott, Monthly Labor Review, September 1999.