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Census Bureau Release Workforce EEO Numbers

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2006-2010 American Community Survey EEO tabulation that examines the diversity in the U.S. labor force. In the past, the Census Bureau has produced the tabulation after every 10-year census. However, for the first time, the bureau used the 2006-2010 American Community Survey estimates in its report.  The actual tables produced by the tabulation can be generated at the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder page available here.

Federal agencies use the numerous tabulations as a monitoring device while employers can get a rough gage of civil rights compliance by comparing their workforce with what regional, state, or sometimes local demographics suggest their workforce should resemble.

The tabulation is sponsored by the EEOC, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and Office of Personnel Management. New tables this year include numbers and estimates regarding unemployment status and citizenship status.

With regard to some of the key statistical takeaways, the tabulation shows that women currently constitute 47.2 percent of the civilian labor force, up 0.4 percent from 2000.  Some of the largest gains appear to have been made in the health care industry, where women now make up 50 percent of veterinarians (40 percent in 2000), and 32 percent of physicians and surgeons (27 percent in 2000). As to raw numbers, the largest occupation for women is secretary/administrative assistant (3.8M), while more men are truck drivers (3.2M) than any other occupation.

The largest labor force percentage gain of any ethnicity was the Hispanic population, which grew by 53 percent (from 14.7M in 2000 to 22.5M in the current survey). Overall, non-Hispanic whites make up 67 percent of the labor force, Hispanics 15 percent, non-Hispanic blacks 11 percent, and non-Hispanic Asians 5 percent.

Interestingly, the fastest growing occupation is personal care aide, which has tripled over the last decade. This trend in large part explains the federal government’s recent enforcement initiatives in this occupational area. Of course, this correlation serves as a good reminder that if the federal government’s enforcement agencies (e.g., EEOC, DOL, and IRS) are paying attention to trends and numbers, so too should employers.



About this Author

R. Holtzman Hedrick, Labor and Employment, Barnes Thornburg, Law firm

Holt Hedrick is an associate in the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg, where he is a member of the firm's Labor & Employment Law Department. Mr. Hedrick's practice focuses on a wide range of issues within the scope of labor and employment law, including discrimination suits, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and employer consultations. Mr. Hedrick also has extensive experience as a commercial litigator, including defending companies against class actions, mass torts, federal privacy statutory claims, and breach of contract/warranty claims. Mr. Hedrick practices before...