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Toward the end of the first decade of the 21st century, humanities-related employment amounted to approximately 3.86 million jobs, or 2.6% of all employment.1 (For an explanation of the way in which the Humanities Indicators (HI) arrived at these estimates, see the Note on Humanities Employment Data.)

Endnotes

  • 1 For the majority of occupations and sectors, data are for 2008. Data for the publishing sector are for 2007. For a small number of occupations, 2009 data were used. At the time this indicator was prepared, these were the most current data available. Total U.S. employment for 2008 was 150,931,700, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix.

Humanities-Related Employment, 2007/2008/2009*

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* For the majority of occupations and sectors, data are for 2008. Data for the publishing sector are for 2007. For a small number of occupations, 2009 data were used. At the time this indicator was prepared, these were the most current data available. Percentages do not add to 100% due to rounding.

Sources:

Employment Data

U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2007 Economic Census, http://www.census.gov/econ/census/. Data Set: Sector 51, EC0751A1; Geographic Area Series; Summary Statistics for the United States, States, Metro and Micro Areas, Metro Divisions, Consolidated Cities, Counties, and Places, 2007. Data accessed via American FactFinder.

U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey, 2008, http://www.census.gov/acs/www/. Special tabulations of labor force data were developed from the one-year 2008 Public Use Microdata Sample file.

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2009, National Cross-Industry Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2009/may/oes_nat.htm.

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 ed. (Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010), http://www.bls.gov/oco/.
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, 2007–2008 Schools and Staffing Survey (restricted-use data files).

Other Data Used in Calculating Employment Estimates
Elizabeth E. Merritt and Philip M. Katz, eds., 2009 Museum Financial Information (Washington, DC: American Association of Museums, 2009).

National Research Council, Committee to Assess Research-Doctorate Programs, “A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Data Table in Excel (2010),” http://www.nap.edu/rdp/.

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Data System; accessed via the National Science Foundation’s online integrated science and engineering resources data system, WEBCASPAR.

See the Note on Humanities Employment Data for a detailed description of the categories and data used for this indicator. For the purposes of this indicator, humanities-related employment encompasses:

  • humanities research and teaching;
  • humanities occupations; that is, jobs (beyond research and teaching) that require humanities knowledge (e.g., art museum curator) and/or humanistic skills (e.g., editor) or that support key elements of the nation’s humanities infrastructure;
  • the administrative, technical, and support jobs necessary to the operation of key types of humanistic institutions; and
  • employment in the publishing industry (beyond that included in humanities occupations), because this industry produces books and other texts 1) the consumption and interpretation of which are key humanistic competencies and 2) that are the major vehicles by which the fruits of humanistic scholarship are disseminated.
  • Unless otherwise noted, the estimates provided here include full- and part-time employment. For data on rates of unemployment among humanities graduates, see The Employment Status of Humanities Majors.
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