January 13, 1999
Production occupations, including construction, operating, maintenance, and material handling, accounted for the largest share of employment during 1997. Employment in production occupations was 31.1 million, or 25.6 percent of the total.
Four production occupations had employment greater than one million: heavy truck drivers; assemblers and fabricators, except machine, electrical, electronic, and precision; light truck drivers, including delivery and route workers; and general utility maintenance repairers.
Professional occupations had the next largest share at 25.6 million or 21.0 percent, followed by clerical occupations at 21.3 million or 17.5 percent. Within professional, total employment of registered nurses stood at 2.0 million in 1997. Two other occupations—teachers in elementary school and teachers in secondary schools—topped one million in employment.
Within clerical, two occupations reported employment greater than two million: general office clerks and secretaries, except legal and medical. Three other occupations had employment levels greater than one million: bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks; first-line supervisors and managers/supervisors; and receptionists and information clerks.
Data on occupational employment and wages are produced by the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics program. For additional information, see News Release USDL 98-502, "Occupational Employment and Wages, 1997."