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This book is about work and its rewards in contemporary America. As the success of the previous editions has demonstrated, such a book is bound to be of interest to students of American life, and to students just beginning life in the world of work. It is also a book for career changers seeking guidelines and for women seeking equal pay for equal work.
With such audiences in mind, the Almanac has deliberately been given a white-collar service sector orientation. The largest entries are all aimed at the career-minded. They will find detailed information on accountants, doctors, engineers, lawyers, scientists, and health-care workers as well as the most up-to-date information on jobs in computer technology. Whether readers are interested in a specialized field such as human resources, public relations, or purchasing, or in a particular kind of business such as advertising, banking, or insurance, they will find complete job descriptions and an evaluation of future job opportunities as well as a full range of salaries for most levels and positions. Special entries on the starting salaries of new college graduates and newly minted M.B.A.s will prove invaluable to younger members of the workforce. This emphasis on white-collar careers is, however, not based simply on some biased point of view, nor is it a cynical attempt to boost sales. In fact, it reflects the very real and extraordinary changes in the character and shape of the American workforce that have occurred over the last four decades.
Between 1950 and 1990, for example, while the population was growing by just over 60 percent, the labor force doubled in size. The singlemost dramatic change was the growth in the number of women workers, from 18 million to 56 million. In 1950, about 30 percent of the total workforce were women, but by 1990, women made up nearly half of all working people. Other important changes, such as the growth in the white-collar workforce from less than 40 percent to more than half, and the rise in education levels of all workers-close to 80 percent have finished high school, compared with less than half in the 1950sare indications of a society significantly rearranging its daily worklife.
The kind of work being done by Americans changed just as drastically. For example, the number of workers employed in the production of goods (including manufacturing, mining, and construction, but not agriculture) grew from 20 million to 31 million between 1960 and 1997. But as a percentage of the workforce, these workers declined from 37 percent to 16 percent. Moreover, the number of production workers in relation to nonproduction workers declined from five to one in 1950 to less than two to one today, while the percentage of blue-collar workers declined from 40 percent of the workforce in 1950 to under 25 percent in 1997. These trends have continued through the decade.
In many industries, the number of production workers has been declining steadily for many reasons, including, but not limited to, automation, increased competition from abroad, and the aging of particular segments of American industries. Between 1960 and 1985, the steel and auto industries each lost half a million jobs; textiles lost 600,000; and manufacturing lost over 1.1 million. Although manufacturing rallied in the late 1980s, jobs in this industry resumed their decline in the 1990s, and 1991 levels were lower than they were at any point in the 1980s. Meanwhile, agriculture, which accounted for I I percent of the workforce in 1950, employed less than 2 percent in 1991.
While America's production industries were waning, the service industries were booming. Over the past four decades the service sector has grown from 27 million employees to over 90 million, and from 55 percent of the workforce to over 78 percent. Today more than 75 percent of working Americans are employed in areas such as accounting, banking, engineering, consumer services, education, health care, legal work, transportation, and wholesale and retail trade. Moreover, there are millions employed in the public sector. In 1950, just over 6 million civilian employees-about 10 percent of all workers-were employed by federal, state, and local governments; by 1997, over 20 million civilians-1 7 percent of the labor forcewere on public payrolls.
This last point should help to explain why so much space in the Almanac is given to the section "On the Public Payroll." This is the first book to present an in-depth look at the jobs and salary levels of the enormous federal bureaucracy, from typists and secretaries to members of the Senior Executive Service. Of course, the salaries and perks of the president, his cabinet, and his advisers are all included, along with those of federal judges and members of Congress. But the large entry on the highest paying jobs in almost every federal agency is what reveals more About levels of pay in Washington than a mere cataloging of the top officials.
On the state and local government levels, the Almanac contains information on high-ranking officials in every state and in many major cities. Public employees ranging from city managers and police chiefs to bus drivers, sanitation workers, and social workers are all included. Wherever possible, examples of salary scales in the states, selected cities, and in institutions are provided. Under "University and College Professors," for example, the salaries of full professors, associate professors, assistant professors, and instructors are listed for almost one hundred public and private institutions nationwide.
Despite the Almanac's obvious emphases, it is designed to provide data for a wide variety of occupations. So, in addition to professional careers, high-paying white-collar occupations, and bureaucratic sinecures, the Almanac also gives all kinds of information on ordinary jobs in the workaday world. Office workers, construction workers, and maintenance workers are all included.
Finally, a word about the section called "In the Public Eye and Behind the Scenes." Although some of the entries contain valuable career information for people interested in modeling or working in film or television, the major attraction here is bound to be the high-salaried public personalities so familiar to millions of Americans. Included, among others, are movie stars, musicians, singers, and professional athletes. Readers will discover that in the world of television, movies, and sports, many stars and personalities surpass the magical sum of $10 million a year. (They will also discover elsewhere in the book that many corporate executives, Wall Street financiers, and Hollywood producers, among other executives, also have reached that exalted plateau.)...