Every eight to ten years, the federal statistical system updates the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. The SOC is used by all federal statistical agencies, including the Census Bureau, to classify workers and jobs into occupational categories. Changes to the occupational classification system are needed to recognize the growth and decline of occupations as well to provide analysts and other data users more occupational detail. However, federal statistical agencies must balance the need for an up-to-date classification system against the ability to track occupational changes over time. First, this paper will describe how the Census Bureau is implementing the 2018 SOC into its household surveys. Second, we will assess how classification updates have shaped the Census occupation code list since 2000. Findings will illustrate how changes in the nature of jobs and the refinement of occupational categories made these revisions to the Census occupational code lists necessary.
Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography