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General Notes


In this report, estimates are presented of the total number of positions filled by scientists, engineers, and technicians employed in the U.S. economy in 1998. The estimates were developed from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey, a Federal/state program under which national and state estimates are generated of employment by industry for nonfarm wage and salary workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor has primary responsibility for developing OES survey procedures and for providing states with technical guidance and assistance with survey problems. State Employment Security Agencies implement the survey at the state level and prepare current and projected employment statistics for these labor markets. Some states also prepare substate estimates.

The Division of Science Resources Statistics of the National Science Foundation has enhanced the BLS effort since 1977 by financing the collection of detailed estimates on the types of scientific and technical jobs filled by industry. Analysis of this information yields insights into the dynamics of the labor market. Industries identified in the tables of this report are from the "Numerical List of Short Titles" in the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual, revised edition. The numbers of scientists, engineers, and technicians for a few industries at the two-digit SIC level (tables A-2, A-3, and A-4) in this 1998 edition differ from those in editions covering survey cycles prior to 1989 because some industries were recoded between the 1986 and 1989 surveys. Starting with the 1990 edition, greater noncomparability has occurred at the three-digit level of detail (tables A-1 and A-5.1 through A-5.6 for 1998) because of more extensive recoding. Prior to the 1996 survey cycle, the OES survey covered only about one-third of the economy in each cycle, covering each SIC industry once every three years. Because of the survey's transition from a one-third-of-economy basis to a full-economy basis in 1996, BLS counsels data users that 1996 data carry large standard errors and should therefore be used with extreme caution, particularly if compared with data from neighboring years.

For reasons outlined above, estimates in 1988–95 tables should be compared with those for 1987 (and earlier years) only after consulting the 1987 SIC revisions to determine industry comparability, and annual data for 1997–present can be compared to pre-1996 data—with respect to a specific industry—only for those pre-1996 years in which that industry was covered.

Requests for previously published data and additional information should be directed to

Richard E. Morrison
Human Resources Statistics Program
Division of Science Resources Statistics
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230

Tel: 703-292-7798
Fax: 703-292-9092
E-mail: rmorriso@nsf.gov

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