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The Requirements of Jobs

The Requirements of Jobs

Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey

(p.183) 5 The Requirements of Jobs
Education, Skills, and Technical Change
Maury GittlemanKristen MonacoNicole Nestoriak
University of Chicago Press

How are worker skills, job tasks, technological change, and international trade interacting to affect the earnings distribution and the employment structure? To address these questions, it is useful to have a solid understanding of the skills demanded of the workforce, as well as the tasks that must be performed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is currently conducting the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS), which promises to provide new information at the detailed occupational level. The ORS is a new survey that collects data on the educational, cognitive, and physical requirements of jobs, as well as the environmental conditions in which the work is performed. Using pre-production data, we provide estimates of a subset of elements by broad industry and occupation and examine the relationship between the cognitive elements and measures of education and training. We exploit the overlap between ORS and the National Compensation Survey to estimate models of the returns to different occupational requirements. Finally, we examine the relationship between occupational requirements and occupational safety measures and outline potential research uses of the ORS.

Keywords:   occupational requirements, returns to skill, occupational injuries

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