Thursday, April 26, 2012

Social and Human Service Assistants

Standard Occupational Classification #21-1093 Social and Human Service Assistants

SOC Definition--Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, rehabilitation, or adult daycare.

Examples of other common names in use--Addictions Counselor Assistant, Case Work Aide, Clinical Social Work Aide, Family Service Assistant, Human Services Worker, Social Work Assistant

Social and human service assistants exclude those working in occupations (21-1015) Rehabilitation Counselors, (39-9021) Personal and Home Care Aides, (43-4061) Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs, and (29-2053) Psychiatric Technicians.

Social and human service assistants work in both public and private social assistance establishments. Around 32-36 percent work in private sector firms doing individual and family services, community food and housing services, and vocational rehabilitation services. About 25 to 28 percent work in government social assistance about evenly split between local and state government. They are also employed directly in the health care industry: 16 to 17 percent in nursing and residential care facilities, 5 to 6 percent in outpatient care centers, 4 to 5 percent in hospitals. Religious, civic and social organizations also sponsor some social assistance and hire 5 to 6 percent of social and human service assistants. Almost none are self employed, virtually all work for establishments.

Social and human resource assistants are one of a group of occupations common to social assistance. Include six counseling specialty occupations and four social work occupations as work common to social assistance. Social and human resource assistants are the lowest paid of social assistance occupations. Like many other jobs in education and health care that have aide or assistant in their job titles social and human resource assistants do the time consuming parts of coordinating and delivering services or treatments to clients in order to save time for higher paid professional staff. However, licensing and certification for most social service occupations, especially social work, are less severe than health care. For this reason, social and human resource assistants, especially those with BA degrees, should explore possibilities for advancement once they are familiar with the work.

National employment as Social and Human Service Assistants reached 359,860 as of 2011. Jobs are up by an average of 8,995 a year since 2000 with a growth rate far above the national average. In the recently updated BLS Education and Training Classification assignments for social and human service assistants list high school diploma or equivalent as the entry level education minimum, none for work experience in a related occupation and short term on the job training up to a month as necessary preparation to do the work.

However, survey data percentages are published for the social and human service assistant occupation. Survey results show an educational distribution of 2.4 percent of social and human service assistants have less than a high school degree, 14.4 percent have a high school degree, 20.9 percent have some college, but no degree, 9.5 percent have an associate’s degree, 37.9 percent have a baccalaureate degree, 13.5 percent have a master’s degree and 1.4 percent have a doctorate degree.

Job growth is not the only measure of new hiring. Job openings equal job growth and the number of net replacements. Net replacements are people who permanently leave an occupation for another occupation or retirement and must be replaced before there can be any job growth. Job openings for Social and Human Service Assistants have been averaging around 12,800 per year in recent years.

The basic wage data from the BLS occupational employment survey includes a wage distribution. Averages are not used much in wage data. A few high wages pull up the average and make it unrepresentative. Instead a distribution range of wages is published with the 10th, 25th, median, 75th, and 90th percentiles of wages. A 10th percentile wage means 10 percent working in this job have wages equal to or less than the 10th percentile wage and so on. Annual wages are converted to hourly wages by dividing annual by 2,080.

The entry wage in the 10th percentile for Social and Human Service Assistants is reported as $19,180 in 2011. The 25th percentile wage equals $22, 930. The median wage is $28,740, the 75th percentile wage equals $36,440 and the 90th percentile wage is $45,710. Yearly reported wage increases barely keep up with inflation across the whole salary distribution. Buying remains about the same for the past decade.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wisconsin Jobs for 2011 and 2010

On April 2nd a year ago I wrote a 600 word piece on Wisconsin jobs through 2010. At the time Governor Walker delighted attacking and taunting state employees, but I recall part of his taunt was “I will create jobs in the private sector.” In 2010 the monthly average of statewide jobs was down 15.3 thousand from 2009. In 2011 the monthly average of statewide employment was up 11.9 thousand from 2010, not enough to replace the prior year’s losses and still 93 thousand jobs below the statewide average for 2000.

The 2011 Wisconsin increase was 40th of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. An increase of 11.9 thousand new jobs is an annual growth rate of .44 percent, less than half the national average. Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas actually lost jobs as did Missouri and Montana, but none of the losers have as many jobs as Wisconsin. Utah with only 1.2 million statewide jobs managed to create more than 25 thousand new jobs. For a state like Wisconsin with 2.7 million jobs the 2011 increase was measly at best.

In the national economy three sub sectors of durable goods manufacturing in fabricated metals, machinery and automobiles generated a little over 200 thousand new jobs. Wisconsin was able to ride the wave of national increase by picking up 11 thousand durable goods manufacturing jobs with 9 thousand of the jobs in fabricated metals and machinery. Other manufacturing in Wisconsin nudged upward but with barely a thousand new jobs.

Otherwise there is not much good news to report on Wisconsin jobs. Construction employment dropped 4 thousand jobs with declines across all three construction sub sectors: building construction, heavy and civil engineering including highway construction and specialty trade contractors. Wisconsin construction employment in 2011 dropped to 3.3 percent of statewide employment. Even though construction employment is down in the national economy construction has 4.2 percent of national establishment jobs.

Private sector services did a little better with a net increase of 10.6 thousand jobs, but 6.9 thousand of the new jobs were in employment services and from temporary help services. Government employment was down 6.8 thousand with 2.2 thousand of the lost jobs in the public elementary and secondary schools.

The loss of government jobs pulled the annual growth rate in service employment down to .17 percent compared to 1.08 percent in the national economy. Private sector service jobs that exclude government losses did a little better at .6 percent a year but that was a third of the national growth rate in this category, which was 1.79 percent.

Lost service jobs in Wisconsin for 2011 covered a broad spectrum of industries in transportation, utilities, information services that include publishing, broadcasting, phone and Internet, along with losses in financial services in banking, credit, real estate, arts-entertainment-recreation, accommodations, restaurants, personal services like salons and laundries, and non-profit membership associations. Restaurants?

The total of losses in the private service sectors was a modest 6.8 thousand for the year, but Governor Walker promised more jobs, not less. Even though employment services including temporary help services added 6.9 thousand jobs, these jobs are part of a larger sub sector called administrative support services that includes services like telemarketing, security services, credit bureaus, janitorial and landscaping services and a few more. After excluding jobs from employment services and temporary help services the remaining support services lost jobs in 2011.

Wisconsin service sectors with more jobs had token gains and generally at growth rates well below the national average. For example, wholesale and retail trade added 2.4 thousand jobs in 2011, but that was a growth rate of .58 percent a year compared to 1.40 percent in the national economy. Health care employment inched up 3 thousand jobs, but here again the Wisconsin increase represents a growth rate of .83 percent when the national economy did much better at 1.63 percent.

Professional services like the law, accounting, computer design continues to be a smaller share of Wisconsin jobs than the national economy: 3.3 percent for Wisconsin, almost 5.9 percent nationally. Wisconsin added 1.6 thousand professional jobs in 2011 at an annual growth rate of 1.75 percent a year, but the same jobs were increasing at 3.36 percent a year in the national economy.

One other Wisconsin service sector picked up 3 thousand jobs, which came in a service sector called management-of-companies. This sector results from the use of establishments to report job data because a firm may have many establishments at different locations where some establishments within the firm might be just head offices or administrative offices. Unfortunately the management sub sector is a small sector even though the increase here is a little above the national growth rate.

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited above, the private sector job performance equals failure on the governor’s private sector pledge to create jobs. Job gains in manufacturing give optimists a reason to feel better than last year, but Wisconsin depends on manufacturing for 16 percent of its jobs, which makes it vulnerable to changes in the national recovery. The poor performance in construction and private sector services does not suggest Wisconsin manufacturing will be able to pull the rest of the economy along.

Remove the 6.9 thousand new jobs from employment services and the 6.8 thousand jobs lost from government service and the net private service sector increase comes to 3.7 thousand jobs for all of 2011. If Wisconsin private service sector job growth equaled the national average, Wisconsin would have had 20.5 thousand more private sector service jobs in addition to the manufacturing gains.

Being somewhat acquainted with the vitriol and class divisions in Wisconsin politics I wonder if there are more than a few voters hoping jobs will decline. Those people will vote for Governor Walker, but the Wisconsin voters who work should remember that neighboring Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan all did significantly better than Wisconsin on jobs in 2011.