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Over 80 percent of jobs required workers to work at a task-driven pace in 2016

December 12, 2016

Workers need to use judgment, make decisions, and adapt to changes on the job. These include the pace at which work is performed, the extent of supervision, and the frequency of work interactions. The majority of jobs in 2016 (81.5 percent) required workers to work at a task-driven pace, compared with 18.5 percent of jobs where workers worked at a self-driven pace.

In 2016, 42.6 percent of jobs required workers to work at a moderate pace. This compared with 2.5 percent of jobs where workers worked at a slow pace and 38.7 percent of jobs where the pace was variable.

Percent distribution of pace of work performed, civilian workers, 2016
Category Percent of jobs

Total

100%

Slow pace

2.5

Moderate pace

42.6

Fast pace

16.2

Variable pace

38.7

Ongoing interaction with regular contacts, or those people with whom a worker has an established working relationship, was required for 33.7 percent of jobs in 2016. Daily or less-frequent interaction with regular contacts was required for 4.9 percent of jobs. Ongoing interaction with other contacts, including the public and those with whom the worker has no working relationship, was required for 17.2 percent of jobs. Daily or less-frequent interaction with other contacts was required for 48.8 percent of jobs.

Percent distribution of frequency of work interactions, civilian workers, 2016
Frequency of contact Regular contacts Other contacts

Total

100% 100%

Frequency of contact is ongoing

33.7 17.2

Frequency of contact is several times per hour

39.1 17.6

Frequency of contact is hourly or semi-hourly

22.2 16.4

Frequency of contact is daily or less

4.9 48.8

In 2016, 40.3 percent of jobs involved supervision that detailed instruction and quality review of completed assignments. Detailed instruction and frequent review were needed for 11.4 percent of jobs.

Percent distribution of type of work review, civilian workers, 2016
Supervision Percent of jobs

Total

100%

Detailed instruction and frequent review

11.4

Detailed instruction and review of quality for completed assignments

40.3

General instruction and review of broad work objectives

32.6

Broad objectives provided and review of results only

15.7

These data are from the Occupational Requirements Survey. See "Occupational Requirements in the United States — 2016" (HTML) (PDF) to learn more. For more information, refer to page 128 of the glossary.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Over 80 percent of jobs required workers to work at a task-driven pace in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/over-80-percent-of-jobs-required-workers-to-work-at-a-task-driven-pace-in-2016.htm (visited May 28, 2020).

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