Occupational segregation

Changing patterns of occupational segregation in Great Britain and the USA

This project ended in September 2005.

The primary aim of this project (funded by the ESRC from October 2004 to September 2005) was to develop a better understanding of the processes underlying stability and change in the patterns of occupational segregation in the USA and Great Britain between 1990 and 2001. The project used census micro data (i.e. samples of data from the census that can be analysed at the level of the individual) in order to make comparisons of occupational segregation in Britain and the United States which take account of the full-time or part-time status of workers. In addition, data from the Labour Force Survey in Britain was used. Cross-national comparative work was essential because it uncovers issues relating to occupational segregation by sex, which remain hidden within analyses that focus on a single nation state. Recent research in Britain has suggested that there are different and opposing trends in occupational segregation among the full-time and part-time workforce. While occupational segregation among full-time workers is falling there remains a high and rising degree of segregation among part-time workers (Hakim 1993, 1998). An important focus of this research was therefore to examine how differences in the extent and nature of part-time work contribute to patterns of occupational segregation in the two countries.

This project also used data from the 1958 National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study to make a preliminary examination of individuals' transitions between segregated and integrated occupations over the life course.

On completion, this project was evaluated by the ESRC and received a grade of 'Outstanding'. 

Dr Jane Elliott and Vania Gerova (both CLS members) were the researchers on this project. 

Details of this award are available on the ESRC website - award details.


Translation from US OCC 2000 to ISCO-88


A translation between OCC 2000 from the US census and ISCO-88 was created manually by inspection of the occupation titles in both schemes. In some cases a match between equivalent categories in the two schemes was straightforward. For example the category '210: Lawyers' in the US Occ 2000 classification can be translated to 2421 Lawyers in ISCO-88, similarly '451: Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists' can be readily translated to '5141 Hairdressers, barbers, beauticians and related workers'. Given that the US OCC2000 scheme has more categories than ISCO-88 the translation frequently resulted in a loss of detail. For example '4: Advertising and Promotions Managers' and '6: Public Relations Managers' were combined to form the ISCO-88 category '1234: Advertising and public relations department managers'. More problematic is to decide on a translation when one category from the original classification (i.e. US OCC 2000) could potentially map onto more than one category of ISCO-88. However, in this case due to the greater level of detail in US OCC 2000 this did not present a problem.

The files provided give translations to both the unit group (4 digit) and minor group (3 digit) versions of ISCO-88. It should be noted that although there are 390 Unit groups in ISCO-88 the translation from US OCC 2000 to ISCO-88 results in a classification with only 265 categories.

There are three separate files that researchers may find helpful in translating between the classification of occupations used in the US Census 2000 (OCC 2000) and ISCO-88 (see 'Downloads on the right hand side of this page).

  • An SPSS syntax file that recodes OCC 2000 to ISCO-88
  • An excel spreadsheet that documents the translation between the two occupational classifications OCC 2000 to ISCO-88 translation
  • A word file with a table documenting the translation between the two occupational classifications OCC 2000 to ISCO-88

These files were created as part of the ESRC-funded research project 'Changing Patterns of Occupational Segregation in Britain and the United States' RES 000 22 0500.

Further resources for translating between occupational classifications for specific countries and ISCO-88 can be found on the CAMSIS website.