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Emergy of the Occupations. Chapter 43
Campbell, Daniel E., D. White, AND C. Boggess. Emergy of the Occupations. Chapter 43. In Proceedings, Emergy Synthesis 7: Theory and Applications of the Emergy Methodology, Gainesville, FL, January 11 - 14, 2012. Center for Environmental Policy, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL, 381-404, (2013).
In this paper we calculated the emergy contributed to the economy of the United States in the work done by the workers of 558 occupations in 2008. We determined the empower (semj/yr) delivered by an individual engaged in each occupation, the transformity of the occupation’s work or the emergy delivered per joule of work done by a participant in an occupation, the emergy delivered per hour of work done and the total contribution of emergy to the economy from the work done by the occupation’s workers in a year. We analyzed the data on U.S. occupations on the basis of the individual occupations and the occupations aggregated by Standard Occupational Classification Code (SOC) and Job Zone. Based on theoretical arguments illustrated with three Energy Systems Language models, we hypothesized that there should be a linear relationship between monetary compensation received and emergy measures of the knowledge and experience delivered in the work done as measured by the emergy of the education and training required for performing the work of an occupation. Our results were consistent with the predicted results of the hypothesis. We characterized the structure of the workforce of the U. S. from an analysis of employment, empower production and compensation received by Job Zone. We found that the lower to middle range (Job Zones 2 and 3) were the heart of U.S. economy from both an emergy and an economic perspective. However, when the emergy delivered by the occupations to the U.S. economy was analyzed, economic measures tended to overvalue the skilled occupations and undervalue the unskilled ones compared to emergy measures of the education and experience contributed. We noted the theoretical and practical limitations of this analysis and the need for future work to better characterize the contributions of on-the-job training to the emergy delivered by the workers in an occupation.
This is the fourth in a series of papers to develop a cogent system of environmental accounting using emergy that will be able to create a single set of books of the economy, the environment and society. This paper itself is not expected to have much immediate impact, because it will be published in a peer-reviewed conference proceedings. However, in the future as a piece in a larger body of work its impact may be large. At present it provides a list of 560 emergy per unit values for the work performed in various occupations and thus it maybe of immediate interest and usefulness within the world-wide community of emergy researchers.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PAPER IN NON-EPA PROCEEDINGS)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION
MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT BRANCH