What is the OOH?

  By Frank Burtnett  |    Thursday September 29, 2022

Category: Columns, Expert Advice


EMInfo Reader: A librarian in our community suggested that one of my candidates seeking a career change spend some time reading the U.S Labor Department’s Occupation Outlook Handbook. What is it? Where can I find a copy?


Dr. Burtnett: Since it first published a print version of the Occupational Outlook Handbook(OOH) in 1948, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor has used occupational information collected by economists, statisticians, and other researchers to provide up-to-date information for the public consumer on what workers do; the work environment, education, training and other qualification; pay; employment outlook and other data.

More than 300 occupational profiles covering approximately 80 percent of the jobs performed in America are contained in the occupational profiles and numerous states have extended the BLS work to include similar information on their websites for the same occupations.

This publication has been an indispensable resource for community, school, college, and other librarians and used by counselors and placement officers in these same organizations to help students and young adults in their career planning and development.

No longer available in print form, the OOH can be fully accessed at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/ Given that the information is produced and disseminated by the federal government, it is free to use and considered in the “public domain” for any user that wants to reproduce and disseminate it.

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