Computer and Internet Use at Work Rises Slightly

August 3, 2005 ( - The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that 55.5% of workers (77 million) use a computer at work as of October 2003.

A Department of Labor (DoL) news release said that the report also found that about 40% of workers connect to the Internet or use email at work. These statistics are slightly higher than the findings of the September 2001 report.

The release also mentioned statistics on using the Internet for job searching. Slightly more than 10% of the civilian, non-institutional population age 16 and over report using the Internet to search for work. The most common methods used are reading on-line ads and researching information on potential employers.

Women (61.8%) reported using a computer at work more than men (49.9%), and also were more likely to use the Internet at work than men.

A little more than 79% of managers and professionals reported using a computer at work and 67% reported using the
Internet. Two thirds of those in sales and office occupations use a computer at work and almost 50% use the Internet. Computer and Internet use was lower for service workers (27.5% and 15.9%), natural resources, construction, and maintenance workers (26.4% and 16.6%), and production, transportation, and material moving workers (26/5 and 13.9%).

The release noted that the greater likelihood of women to use the computer and Internet at work was due to the concentration of women in the occupations that report most of the computer and Internet use. Nearly three fourths of women are in management and professional and sales and office occupations, while almost two fifths of men are employed in the occupations that reported lower computer and Internet use.

Likewise there was a greater likelihood of computer and Internet use for government workers due to their occupational concentration, according to the news release. Sixty nine percent of public employees reported using a computer at work and 56% reported using the Internet. More than half of public employees are employed in management and professional jobs.

The report also found that Asians used the computer and Internet at work (60.6% and 49.6%) more than whites (56.6% and 42.8%), African-Americans (45.6% and 30.9%), and Hispanics (31.1% and 21.1%).

About 60% of workers in the 25-64 age range report using a computer at work and almost 50% report using the internet. Only about one third of those older and younger than that use a computer and only about one fifth use the Internet.

Connecting to the Internet and using e-mail was reported as the most common reason for using a computer at work, by 75.2% of workers. In addition, 67.6% use the computer for word processing, 64.2% for working with spreadsheets, and 56.8% for calendar or scheduling.

The Computer Use Survey is a supplement to the Current Population Survey of October 2003. The full news release can be found here .