Economic News Release

Computer and Internet Use At Work Summary


Technical information:  (202) 691-6378     USDL 05-1457
               http://www.bls.gov/cps/
                                           For release:  10:00 A.M. EDT
Media contact:                691-5902     Tuesday, August 2, 2005


   (This release was reissued on Wednesday, August 10, to correct the
September 2001 data for workers of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity in table A.
No other data were affected.)



                 COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE AT WORK IN 2003
                                     
   In October 2003, 77 million persons used a computer at work, the Bureau
of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  These
workers accounted for 55.5 percent of total employment.  About 2 of every 5
employed individuals connected to the Internet or used e-mail while on the
job.  These proportions were slightly higher than those measured in the
prior survey conducted in September 2001.  (See table A.)
   
   These findings are from a special supplement to the October 2003
Current Population Survey (CPS).  The CPS is a monthly household survey
that is one of the main sources of information on the U.S. labor force.
The Computer Use Survey also collected data on computer and Internet or
e-mail use at home, school, and work as well as use of the Internet for
job search.  The data presented in this release focus on computer and
Internet use at work and on job search methods using the Internet.  For
additional information about the survey, see the Technical Note.  Some
of the highlights from the 2003 survey include:

   --The proportion of workers who used a computer at work was higher for
     women (61.8 percent) than for men (49.9 percent).

   --Employed women had a greater likelihood of using the Internet at work
     than employed men (45.1 and 38.7 percent, respectively).

   --Asians were more likely than whites, blacks, or Hispanics or Latinos
     to use a computer and the Internet at work.

   --The likelihood of computer and Internet use at work is greater for
     workers with more education.

   --In terms of occupation, there were large variations in the proportions
     of workers who used a computer at work.  The computer-use rate was
     relatively high for managers and professionals (about 80 percent)
     and sales and office workers (67 percent).  In contrast, about 26
     percent of workers in natural resources, construction, and main-
     tenance and production, transportation, and material moving occu-
     pations used a computer at work.

   --The most commonly reported task for the 77 million workers who used a
     computer at work was accessing the Internet or using e-mail.

   --Slightly more than 1 in every 10 individuals in the civilian noninsti-
     tutional population age 16 and over reported that they had used the
     Internet between January and October 2003 to search for a job.  (The
     concept of job search used in the survey is different from that used
     in the basic monthly CPS; see the Technical Note for more informa-
     tion.)  Reading on-line ads and researching information on potential
     employers were the most commonly used Internet job search methods used.

                                  - 2 -

     Table A.  Computer and Internet use at work by selected characteristics, September 2001 and October 2003
                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                             
                                           September 2001 r                                    October 2003                  
                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                             
                                      Used a computer    Used the Internet              Used a computer    Used the Internet 
                                          at work             at work                       at work             at work      
                            Total                                             Total                                          
                           employed                                          employed                                        
                                               Percent             Percent                       Percent             Percent 
                                      Total       of      Total       of                Total       of      Total       of   
                                               employed            employed                      employed            employed
         AGE AND SEX                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                             
         Total, 16 years                                                                                                     
           and over......  137,050    73,055     53.3     52,463     38.3    138,823    76,986     55.5     57,892     41.7  
     16 to 24 years......   19,901     6,994     35.1      3,916     19.7     19,304     6,991     36.2      4,234     21.9  
       16 to 19 years....    6,499     1,490     22.9        549      8.4      5,788     1,301     22.5        559      9.7  
       20 to 24 years....   13,402     5,504     41.1      3,367     25.1     13,516     5,690     42.1      3,675     27.2  
     25 years and over...  117,149    66,061     56.4     48,547     41.4    119,519    69,995     58.6     53,658     44.9  
       25 to 34 years....   30,847    17,561     56.9     13,109     42.5     30,401    17,641     58.0     13,608     44.8  
       35 to 44 years....   35,669    20,700     58.0     15,239     42.7     34,854    20,797     59.7     16,226     46.6  
       45 to 54 years....   31,205    18,260     58.5     13,518     43.3     32,221    19,607     60.9     15,017     46.6  
       55 to 64 years....   14,916     8,023     53.8      5,739     38.5     17,202     9,930     57.7      7,499     43.6  
       65 years and                                                                                                          
         over............    4,511     1,517     33.6        942     20.9      4,842     2,021     41.7      1,307     27.0  
                                                                                                                             
     Men.................   73,511    35,023     47.6     26,298     35.8     74,353    37,124     49.9     28,788     38.7  
     Women...............   63,539    38,032     59.9     26,165     41.2     64,470    39,862     61.8     29,104     45.1  
                                                                                                                             
     RACE AND HISPANIC OR                                                                                                    
      LATINO ETHNICITY                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                             
     White...............  114,426    62,483     54.6     45,002     39.3    115,184    65,193     56.6     49,347     42.8  
     Black or African                                                                                                        
       American..........   15,116     6,511     43.1      4,345     28.7     14,754     6,729     45.6      4,553     30.9  
     Asian...............    6,159     3,469     56.3      2,696     43.8      5,809     3,523     60.6      2,882     49.6  
     Hispanic or Latino                                                                                                      
       ethnicity.........  c16,349    c5,211    c31.9     c3,210    c19.6     17,602     5,478     31.1      3,718     21.1  
                                                                                                                             
      FULL- OR PART-TIME                                                                                                     
           STATUS                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                             
     Usually full time on                                                                                                    
       primary job.......  103,887    59,563     57.3     44,035     42.4    103,757    61,538     59.3     47,472     45.8  
     Usually part time on                                                                                                    
       primary job.......   21,412     8,482     39.6      4,891     22.8     22,487     9,708     43.2      6,255     27.8  
     Hours vary on                                                                                                           
       primary job.......   11,751     5,009     42.6      3,537     30.1     12,579     5,740     45.6      4,165     33.1  
                                                                                                                             
         EDUCATIONAL                                                                                                         
         ATTAINMENT                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                             
         Total, 25 years                                                                                                     
           and over......  117,149    66,061     56.4     48,547     41.4    119,519    69,995     58.6     53,658     44.9  
     Less than a high                                                                                                        
       school diploma....   11,737     1,875     16.0        876      7.5     11,520     1,810     15.7        899      7.8  
     High school                                                                                                             
       graduates, no                                                                                                         
       college (1).......   35,880    14,440     40.2      8,627     24.0     36,065    15,208     42.2      9,521     26.4  
     Some college or                                                                                                         
       associate                                                                                                             
       degree............   32,858    19,754     60.1     13,507     41.1     32,455    19,907     61.3     14,445     44.5  
     Bachelor's degree                                                                                                       
       and higher (2)....   36,675    29,992     81.8     25,537     69.6     39,479    33,071     83.8     28,793     72.9  
        Advanced degree..   12,954    10,893     84.1      9,494     73.3     13,831    11,982     86.6     10,709     77.4  

       1 Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
       2 Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.
       r = revised.  Estimates for September 2001 have been revised to reflect the use of Census 2000-based population
     controls.  See the Technical Note for additional information.
       c = corrected.
       NOTE:  Data refer to computer or Internet use on the sole or primary job.  Internet use at work refers to either
     connecting to the Internet or using e-mail.  Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and
     Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races.  In addition, persons whose ethnicity is
     Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and, therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race.

                                  - 3 -

Occupation and Industry

   Managers and professionals were most likely to use a computer and the
Internet; 79.6 percent reported that they used a computer at work and 67.1
percent used the Internet.  Sales and office occupations also had high rates
of computer and Internet use--over two-thirds reported using a computer at
work and nearly half said they used the Internet.  In contrast, computer- and
Internet-use rates were lower for service workers (27.5 and 15.9 percent,
respectively), for natural resources, construction, and maintenance workers
(26.4 and 16.6 percent, respectively), and for production, transportation,
and material moving workers (26.0 and 13.9 percent, respectively).  (See
table 2.)
   
   As with occupations, there was a great deal of variation by industry
with regard to the use of computers and the Internet.  Among private
nonagricultural industries, persons employed in financial activities had
the highest rates of computer (82.4 percent) and Internet use (68.9 percent).
In contrast, computer- and Internet-use rates were lowest in the leisure and
hospitality (30.4 and 17.6 percent, respectively) and construction (28.1
and 21.0 percent, respectively) industries.  (See table 2.)
     
   Government workers had an above-average likelihood of using a computer
and the Internet on the job.  The proportions of workers in the public
sector that used a computer and the Internet were 69.1 and 56.0 percent,
respectively.  By comparison, the computer- and Internet-use rates for
private-sector workers were 53.5 and 39.3 percent, respectively.  (See
table 2.)  The high computer- and Internet-use rates among government
workers is due, in part, to their occupational concentration.  For example,
more than half of all workers in the public sector hold management and pro-
fessional jobs, an occupational category characterized by very high rates
of computer and Internet use.  In contrast, the proportion of private-
sector wage and salary workers employed as managers and professionals is
much lower (30.9 percent).

Demographics

   The youngest and oldest workers were least likely to use a computer and
the Internet on the job.  Among workers ages 16 to 24 and 65 years and over,
about one-third used a computer at work and only about 1 in every 5 said
that they used the Internet.  In contrast, about 60 percent of workers ages
25 to 64 used a computer on the job and almost half used the Internet.
(See table 1.)
   
   As was the case in the prior survey, women were more likely than men to
use a computer and the Internet.  Computer-use rates for women and men were
61.8 and 49.9 percent, respectively; the Internet-use rate for women was
45.1 percent, compared with 38.7 percent for men.  (See table 1.)  Although
computer- and Internet-use rates for men and women are fairly similar
within occupations, the greater likelihood of women to use a computer at
work is due largely to their concentration in occupations in which computer
use is most prevalent.  For instance, nearly three-fourths of employed
women are in management and professional and sales and office occupations;
the computer-use rate for women in these two occupations combined was very
high (74.8 percent).  In contrast, nearly two-fifths of men hold natural
resources, construction, and maintenance and production, transportation,
and material moving jobs.  For men, the combined computer-use rate in these
two occupational categories was 26.0 percent--30 percentage points lower
than the rate for all workers.
   
   Computer use at work was more common among Asian workers (60.6 percent)
and whites (56.6 percent) than among black (45.6 percent) or Hispanic or
Latino workers (31.1 percent).  In terms of Internet use, 49.6 percent of

                                  - 4 -

Asians used the Internet at work, compared with 42.8 percent of whites,
30.9 percent of blacks, and 21.1 percent of Hispanics or Latinos.  (See
table 1.)
   
   With regard to educational attainment, workers with more years of
schooling were much more likely than those with less education to use
a computer and the Internet at work.  For example, computer- and Inter-
net-use rates for workers with advanced degrees were 86.6 and 77.4 per-
cent, respectively.  At the other end of the educational spectrum, only
15.7 percent of workers with less than a high school diploma used a com-
puter on the job, and 7.8 percent used the Internet.  (See table 1.)

Computer Activity at Work

   As was the case in the 2001 survey, the most common use for a computer
at work was to access the Internet or to use e-mail.  Of the 77 million
workers who used a computer on the job, 75.2 percent reported that they
used the computer to connect to the Internet or to use e-mail.  Other
common tasks included word processing (67.6 percent), working with spread-
sheets or databases (64.2 percent), and calendar or scheduling (56.8 per-
cent).  Less common uses were graphics or design (29.7 percent) and pro-
gramming (16.4 percent).  (See table 3.)
   
   In terms of occupation, workers in management and professional occu-
pations, who were most likely to use a computer at work, also reported
some of the highest proportions for specific uses of a computer.  For
instance, 84.4 percent used a computer to use the Internet or e-mail,
76.9 percent used word processing, and 70.7 percent used spreadsheets
or databases.  (See table 4.)
     
Job Search Activity Using the Internet

   In addition to questions concerning computer and Internet use on the
job, the survey also collected information on Internet job search.  (The
concept of job search using the Internet differs from the concept of job
search in the basic monthly CPS; see the Technical Note for more infor-
mation.)  Respondents were asked if they had used the Internet (at any
location) to search for a job "that year"--from January to October 2003.
Over this period, about 25.5 million individuals, or 11.5 percent of the
civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over, said that they had
used the Internet to search for a job.  Internet job search rates were
highest for individuals in the 20-to-24 (21.2 percent), 25-to-34 (19.3
percent), and 35-to-44 year-old (14.3 percent) age groups.  (See table 5.)
   
   Men and women were about equally likely to have used the Internet to
search for a job.  Also, individuals with more years of schooling were much
more likely than those with the lowest level of education to have used the
Internet to search for a job.  The Internet job search rate for college
graduates was 17.6 percent, in contrast to only 2.2 percent for those with
less than a high school diploma.  (See table 5.)

                                  - 5 -

   Data on Internet job search activity by occupation and industry are
shown in table 6.  The estimates given are limited to the experienced
labor force, that is, the sum of the employed and the unemployed whose
last job was in one of the occupations or industries shown.  Of the 146.5
million persons in this group in October 2003, 21.9 million, or 14.9 per-
cent of the total, reported that they used the Internet to look for a job
at some point between January and October 2003.  Individuals in management
and professional occupations had the highest rate of Internet job search--
19.3 percent.  Among the other major occupational categories, Internet job
search rates ranged from a low of 8.6 percent for natural resources, con-
struction, and maintenance occupations to a high of 17.2 percent for sales
and office occupations.

   The most common job search methods reported by Internet jobseekers were
reading on-line ads or job listings (92.6 percent) and researching informa-
tion on potential employers (70.2 percent).  Less common methods were sub-
mitting a resume or application (57.0 percent) and posting a resume on a
job listing site or with a service (41.0 percent).  This pattern of Internet
job searching was similar, regardless of demographic characteristic, occu-
pation, or industry.  (See tables 5 and 6.)
   
   
   
   
   

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Last Modified Date: August 10, 2005
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