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Three-fourths of workers had to interact with the public in 2019; 4.3 percent worked around crowds

June 05, 2020

In 2019, 75.3 percent of civilian workers were required to interact with the general public. One hundred percent of lawyers, healthcare social workers, and emergency medical technicians were required to interact with the general public. Additionally, 72.0 percent of compliance officers, 61.8 percent of accountants and auditors, and 28.1 percent of restaurant cooks were required to interact with the general public.

Percent of workers with jobs requiring interaction with the general public, selected occupations, 2019
Occupation Percent who must interact with the general public

Emergency medical technicians

100.0%

Healthcare social workers

100.0

Lawyers

100.0

Medical and health services managers

89.8

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

83.7

Human resources managers

82.9

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

81.6

General and operations managers

80.3

Compliance officers

72.0

Stockers and order fillers

70.1

Food preparation workers

69.6

Accountants and auditors

61.8

Computer user support specialists

59.6

Mechanical engineers

53.1

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

52.5

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

49.5

Financial and investment analysts

31.2

Restaurant cooks

28.1

Packers and packagers, hand

22.0

Industrial truck and tractor operators

16.5

Interacting with the general public includes working with people other than coworkers, having a large number of people rotating in and out on a regular basis, and in-person or telephone contacts. Working near or around the general public without any interaction does not count as interacting with the public. Interacting with the general public also does not include indirect contacts such as email.

In 2019, 4.3 percent of civilian workers were required to work around crowds. Among police and sheriff’s patrol officers, 81.5 percent were required to work around crowds, as were 69.4 percent of firefighters and 29.1 percent of waiters and waitresses.

Percent of workers by requirement to work around crowds, selected occupations, 2019
Occupation Required Not required

Police and sheriff's patrol officers

81.5% 18.5%

Firefighters

69.4 30.6

Security guards

39.2 60.8

Correctional officers and jailers

37.9 62.1

Waiters and waitresses

29.1 70.9

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

16.2 83.8

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

7.6 92.4

Working around crowds occurs when a job meets all of the following conditions:

  • Many unfamiliar people are present, compared with the space available.

  • Movement is restricted.

  • The arrangement of the crowd is temporary.

  • There is a certain level of disorganization.

  • Workers are not separated from unfamiliar people by counters, dividers, or other objects.

These data are from the Occupational Requirements Survey. These are preliminary estimates and represent the first year of a 5-year sample period. For more information, see “Occupational Requirements in the United States — 2019.”

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Three-fourths of workers had to interact with the public in 2019; 4.3 percent worked around crowds on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/three-fourths-of-workers-had-to-interact-with-the-public-in-2019-4-3-percent-worked-around-crowds.htm (visited August 04, 2020).

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