2 IntroductionThe updated International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08) was adopted by a Tripartite Meeting of Experts in Labour Statistics in December 2007.ISCO-08 was endorsed by the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization in March 2008.The aim was that the updated classification, or national adaptations of it, would be available for use in the 2010 round of national population censuses.
3 Why was ISCO updated?Recent ISIC revision - similar revision cycle for ISCO since 1958ISCO-88 was 20 years old!Global economy has changed significantly (ICT etc.)ISCO-88 was not perfect and we have learned meantimeExperiences gained at national levelISCO-88 needed to be updated for a number of reasons. One relates to its relation with the United Nations’ International Standard Industrial Classification of all economic activities (ISIC). Revisions of ISCO have since the 1958 version followed a similar cycle of revisions as ISIC. A new version of ISIC is ongoing and should be finalised in time to be taken into account for the 2010 round of population censuses. In accordance, the United Nations Statistical Commission requested in March 2003 that a revised ISCO should also be available at that time.Another reason for updating ISCO-88 relates to its age. Almost 20 years have passed since the 14th ICLS adopted ISCO-88 and there have been a number of developments in the economies of countries all over the world, most notably of ICT. It can be expected that changes of some type are necessary in ISCO-88 to reflect them.A third reason is related to the experience gained in applying ISCO-88 in countries. Most national classifications of occupations in the world are in fact adaptations of ISCO-88 and because ISCO-88 is an international classification, there are inevitably problems of adaptation. Some of these problems are common in many countries and an updated ISCO tries to tackle them.A final reason relates to the recommendation made by the 17th ICLS, which adopted a resolution endorsing the updating and overall improvement of ISCO-88 to reflect the important changes that have taken place in the world of work. ISCO-88 has now been updated to take into account the developments in the economies of countries all over the world. The updating has not affected the basic principles and structure of ISCO-88 but took the form of new occupational groups in some areas and improved descriptions in others.
4 Revision time schedule 34th session of the UN Statistical Commission 3/2003First round of questionnairesSet up of Technical Expert Group for updating ISCO (TEG/ISCO) – 3/20051st meeting (TEG/ISCO) – 11/2005Second round of questionnaires (9-2006)2nd meeting (TEG/ISCO) – 7/20063rd meeting (TEG/ISCO) – 12/20064th meeting (TEG/ISCO) – 4/2007Final draft adopted by a Tripartite Meeting of Experts in Labour StatisticsStarting point: the ILO timetable for the revision of ISCO should meet the needs of the next Census round (34th session of the UN Statistical Commission in March 2003).At the 35th session of the Commission, held in March 2004, the ILO made a commitment to complete the work by 2007.Two questionnaires that were sent to all countries through their Ministry of Labour, National Statistical Institute, Employment Services, Vocational Training Institutes, and Employers’ and Workers’ OrganisationsThe ILO also consulted with a range of specialised agencies, workers’ and employers’ organisations, and stakeholders with an interest in those occupational groups where most updating is needed.The TEG/ISCO has worked in collaboration with ILO to:develop proposals for the boundaries of the updating process,organize collection and review of proposals for updates of ISCO,decide on draft proposals for updates of ISCO,elaborate rulings on interpretation of the current ISCO, prepare the draft structure and discussion documents to be submitted to the UN Expert Group on International Economic and Social Classifications and the ILO Tripartite Meeting of Experts on Labour StatisticsEndorsement to the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization 3/2008
5 What is different in ISCO-08? Major groupSub-major groupsMinor groupsUnit groups1 Managers, senior officials and legislators4 (3)11(8)30 (33)2 Professionals6 (4)27(18)92 (55)3 Technicians and associate professionals5 (4)2184 (73)4 Clerks4 (2)8 (7)29 (23)5 Service and sales workers13 (9)40 (23)6 Skilled agricultural, fishery, and forestry workers26 (6)15 (17)7 Craft and related trades workers14 (16)66 (70)8 Plant and machine operators, and assemblers314 (20)44 (70)9 Elementary occupations6 (3)11 (10)33 (25)0 Armed forces occupations3 (1)Total ISCO-08 (ISCO-88)42 (28)128 (116)436 (390)
7 Skill levelThe nature of the work performed has been given more emphasis than the formal education and training required in determining the skill level of an occupation.Jobs requiring similar tasks or skills should be always grouped together, regardless of:Qualifications held or required.The industry in which the job is held.
8 Skill levelNo need for parallel groups in different major groups to cater for cases where the education and training requirements for a particular occupational group differ between countries.Virtually all teaching occupations are classified in sub-major group 24, teaching professionals.Nurses are classified in major groups 2 or 3 depending on tasks performed and not on qualifications alone.Note: Due to differences in national practice and legislation it is not unlikely that all nurses in one country are classified in Major Group 2 and in another country they are all in Major Group 3.Elements of industry or sector classification should be avoided.
9 Detail levelEfforts have been made to ensure that the level of detail provided is appropriate and useful considering the main purposes of an international classification.Given the nature of the occupational distribution of the labour market at international level, the issues of the size of groups and different levels of detail in different parts of the classification, were important, but not overriding, considerations.Minor groups and sub-major groups that are very small in all countries should be avoided.Changes made to reflect changing structure of work force.
10 International comparability and consistency Concerns that it is not feasible to make distinctions between certain categories in ISCO-88 on a consistent basis internationally (data collected in a census or in surveys.Adjustments have been made that aim to improve international comparability and consistency of reporting.Example: Managers in agriculture
12 Corporate managers vs. general managers Reorganisation of managerial occupations in major group 1.The sections of the classification dealing with managerial occupations have been reorganised, so as to overcome problems with the distinction between corporate managers and general managers experienced by users of ISCO-88.
13 ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Major updating and expansion of occupations in information and communications technology:2 new sub-major groups in major groups 2 and 3.Allowing for the identification of professional and associate professional occupations in this field at the second level of the classification.
14 Health services occupations Improved coverage and upgrading of health services occupations:Identifiable at sub-major group level in major groups 2 and 3 and at minor group level in major group 5, sales and service workers.providing sufficient detail to allow ISCO-08 to be used as the basis for the international reporting of data on the health work force to the World Health Organisation and other international and intergovernmental organisations.
15 Clerical support workers Reorganisation of the section of the classification dealing with office clerks:Impact of information and communications technology.Increase from 2 to 4 sub-major groups in major group 4, clerical support workers.Providing more meaningful detail for occupations in which large numbers of women are employed.
16 Sales and service workers Reorganisation of the aggregate groupings for sales and service workers:Increase from 2 to 4 sub-major groups in major group 5.Includes new groups at the second level of the classification for personal service, personal care and protective services workers.
17 Agricultural workersMore detailed categories and greater clarity for some occupational groups involved in agriculture:Farmers and farm managers are, with some exceptions, classified in major group 6.Provision is made to allow separate identification at the second level of the classification of skilled agricultural workers from forestry, fishery and hunting workers.
18 Customer service occupations More detailed categories are available for occupations involved in the provision of information and services to clients, including those related to tourism.
19 Plant and machine operators The groups for plant and machine operators have been rationalised, in response to concerns that this part of ISCO-88 was excessively detailed and out-of-date in some areas.Rationalisation and restructuring of groups for plant and machine operators:Some reduction of detail considered excessive by many observers.New minor group for process control operators in major group 3.
20 Informal sectorExtended coverage of occupations that are significant in the informal sector:Associated increase in the number of sub-major groups in ISCO major group 9, elementary occupations from 3 to 6.
21 Alternative groupings Thematic (or alternative) groupings will be provided based primarily on the goods or services produced, independently of skill level.
22 Major Group 0 Stable in time Representing 0.66% of total EU employment 13-Jul-07Major Group 0Stable in timeRepresenting 0.66% of total EU employmentBut nevertheless problematic
23 Scope of the armed forces 2 problems:In many countries, it is not possible to produce information about the nature of the work performed by members of the armed forces.Difficulty in drawing a borderline between “real military occupations” and “military occupations similar to civilian jobs”. Where to classify a military truck driver, a human resource officer, operators of electronic military equipment? Nowadays probably most of the military occupations have somehow equivalents in civil life.
24 Scope of the armed forces CooksSecretariesMilitary forcestrained for combatDriversKitchen staffDoctors
25 Uncommon occupations in the EU Traditional chiefs and heads of villageWater and firewood collectorsSubsistence crop farmersSubsistence livestock farmersSubsistence fishers, hunters, trappers and gatherersParamedical practitionersSubsistence mixed crop and livestock farmersScribes and related workersCommunity health workersMedical records and health information techniciansMedical assistants
26 Uncommon occupations in the EU Hunters and trappersDrivers of animal-drawn vehicles and machineryMidwifery associate professionalsHand and pedal vehicle driversHouse buildersNursing associate professionalsTraditional and complementary medicine associate professionalsCompanions and valetsTobacco preparers and tobacco products makers
27 Translations of ISCO-08English structure, definitions and correspondence table available on ILO website onFrench translation in the process of being finalised.German translations available at Statistics Austria website onRussian translation available on the ILO website onComments on the draft are still welcome!
29 Developing or adapting national classifications based on ISCO Adopt ISCO directly for national useMuch less than idealSome small countries with limited resources have no other choiceCollaborating with similar neighbouring countries may be an optionAdapt ISCO to suit national circumstancesA popular choiceNational occupation classification (NOC) not based on ISCOA common situation for countries with own tradition or history of occupation classificationMay make adjustments to national classification to improve comparability with ISCO or take advantages of new features in ISCO29
30 Adopting ISCO directly for national use Some work at national level still requiredTranslate to national language(s) if necessaryIdentify where national occupational groups/titles fitEg for nursing occupationsDevelop national index of occupational titlesNeeded to code responses in statistical and other data collectionsISCO index can be adapted but national index should be based on terms used in your countryMethods for implementation in national collectionsQuestions, coding procedures, presentation of output30
31 Adapt ISCO to suit national circumstances: (1) Starting from scratch In addition to everything on the last slide:Decide at what level of ISCO-08 you will provide internationally comparable data (Eg 3 or 4 digits)Collapse ISCO categories that are too detailed for national requirementsEg by making a minor group into a unit group.Create more detailed categories where needed to suit national labour market, user requirements:By adapting the 4th level or creating a 5th levelAdjust the classification code structure as needed while maintaining correspondence table with ISCO-08Create a national index of occupations containing both NOC and ISCO codesDevelop definitions of new or changed categoriesReview and amend ISCO-08 definitions to ensure national relevanceEg lists of included occupations31
32 Adapt ISCO to suit national circumstances: (2) Existing national classification In addition to almost everything on the previous two slides:Map old classification to ISCO-08 and identify features of each you want to retain or not use, to create a new national classification structureFor national classifications based on ISCO-88 the ISCO correspondence table will be a useful toolNational features from old classification you want to retain are reflected within an overall framework based on ISCO-08Develop correspondence tables between old and newUpdate index of occupational titlesConsider need for 3 or 4 code sets32
33 National occupation classification not based on ISCO Understand what your users needIdentify features of ISCO-08 that you want to incorporate in NOCAdjust NOC structure to facilitate reporting to ISCO and incorporate new featuresDevelop correspondence table and possibly dual-or tri-coded index.33
34 Occupation – information needed for coding For accurate coding to any level of ISCO (and related national classifications) information is needed on:Name or title of occupationMain tasks or duties usually performed in the jobThe following may information may also be usefulThe type of economic activity of the establishment (industry)Whether or not the main aim of the activity is own consumption (subsistence)Information about the level of skill or qualifications of an individual is not necessary and not useful34