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Changes to O*NET-SOC 2019 classification on US job postings
Changes to O*NET-SOC 2019 classification on US job postings

The way we are classifying our postings data to O*NET is changing.

Updated over a week ago

What is happening and when?

On April 19, 2024, Lightcast will be enhancing accuracy in the way we code to the O*NET-SOC 2019 taxonomy.

What should clients expect?

All historic postings data will be better coded using the new system, so data will be consistent for time series analysis. Clients may want to rerun analyses as we are expecting to see shifts across occupations.

We are still coding postings to the O*NET 2019 taxonomy, but clients may notice some changes in the number of postings coded to particular occupations.

Why are we doing this?

The existing classifier works well, we have estimated over 80% accuracy – But there is room for improvement. Currently, when errors are found, it can take a while to fix them. Our new classifier is quicker, even more accurate and easier to update with fixes or improvements.

We are making this change to bring our customers the best possible coding which will be derived from our flagship Lightcast Occupation Taxonomy coding that boasts close to 90% accuracy levels. The updated coding has more granularity and greater precision, distinguishing between different specialties and encoding the occupation accordingly - For instance, coding fewer postings to “Not Elsewhere Classified” O*NET codes.

What are the changes?

The major group Community and Social Service Occupations will see the greatest shift in numbers, gaining postings when compared to the previous classifier. The majority of these postings are reclassified from Management and Healthcare occupations and are mostly behavioral occupations that were previously incorrectly classified.

The major group Business and Financial Operations will also see an increase in postings, with some reclassification of project manager titles previously in the Management and the Computer and Mathematical major groups. There will also be a reclassification of some business development titles from the Sales major group.

The Office and Administrative Support major group will gain postings from various improvements to coding. Some sales-related titles, and some shipping administrative support titles. Another miscode correction will see HR Assistant titles correctly coded to this major group, instead of management occupations.

The major group that will experience the greatest loss of postings under the new classifier is Architecture and Engineering. These losses are mostly accounted for by maintenance worker titles which will now be correctly classified to Installation, Maintenance and Repair. Some process and system engineering titles have been reclassified to Computer and Mathematical occupations, but again - This is an improvement in the classification.

The Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations major group will experience some loss of postings numbers. These are accounted for by valid reclassification to Management occupations and Healthcare Support occupations. Within the group, some significant improvements to coding have been made, for example Nurse Practitioner and Acute Care Nurse titles will now be correctly coded to the practitioner and acute care occupations, no longer to the Registered Nurse category.

The new classification system has also significantly improved coding to Farming, Fishing and Forestry occupations along with Construction and Extraction occupations.

The percentage of postings remaining unclassified has also decreased - Simply put, the new classifier catches more detail and assigns postings accordingly.

Additional Information

For more specific details on all the changes in the data please refer to this change report.

If clients have any concerns about the classification system or the output O*NET-SOC 2019 data please contact [email protected] - Our team will happily provide further details or clarification relating to individual occupations.

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