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Comparisons with ISCO-68

  • ISCO-88 is based on skill level and skill specialisation. Skill was also used (implicitly) to organise occupations in ISCO 68 and ISCO-58. Therefore, the structure of ISCO-88 is not too different from ISCO 68 and ISCO-58 and related national classifications.

  • ISCO-88 aimed at continuity of time series. However, it resulted in the splitting of a significant number of ISCO 68 unit groups. 157 out of 286 ISCO 68 unit groups were left unchanged or had their scopes only slightly expanded or reduced. Fourteen of the new ISCO-88 unit groups were created by combining two or three ISCO 68 unit groups using a total of 31 such groups. 96 ISCO 68 unit groups were split and the parts were coded to 174 different ISCO 88 unit groups. Twenty four of the split groups were "not elsewhere classified" groups. A total of 32 ISCO 88 unit groups contain no reference to any ISCO 68 unit groups or occupational categories.

  • ISCO 88 includes 28 sub major groups as a second level in the aggregation system, as compared with ISCO-68's 83 groups at the second level, which represented too much detail for many types of analysis, as well as for international reporting of occupational distributions, especially when data are obtained through sample surveys.

  • As in ISCO 68, jobs in the armed forces are classified in a separate major group 0 Armed forces, even if the jobs involve tasks and duties similar to those of civilian counterparts.

  • In ISCO-88, all occupations where workers have mainly legislative, administrative or managerial tasks and duties are classified to major group 1 Legislators, senior officials and managers. In ISCO 68 they were partly classified to major group 2 Administrative and Managerial Workers and partly to other major groups.

  • In ISCO-88 working proprietors are classified according to whether their tasks and duties are mainly similar to those of managers and supervisors or to those of other workers in the same area of work. This is because the status of working proprietor is seen as related not to type of work performed but to status in employment corresponding to the self employed and employer categories of the International Classification of Status in Employment (ICSE) ( One self employed plumber may have mainly managerial tasks and another may carry out the tasks of plumber with very few managerial responsibilities, depending for example on the size of the firm. In ISCO-88 the former job should be classified with managers and the latter with 7136 Plumbers and pipe fitters. In ISCO-68 there are separate minor groups for working proprietors in wholesale and retail trade and catering and lodging services, as well as for farmers.

  • In ISCO 88 both apprentices and trainees should be classified according to their actual tasks and duties as, if needed, these two groups may be separately identified through the status in employment classification. ISCO 68 recommended that apprentices should be classified to the occupation for which they are being trained, but that trainees be classified according to their actual tasks and duties.

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 Updated 10 August 2004, by VA.