1N01 Determining the Relevant Workforce Sector and Job Areas

COs must review a contractor’s organizational profile to identify the concentration and underrepresentation of minorities and women. Under certain conditions, COs may reasonably expect that the contractor would evenly employ minorities or females throughout a particular job area. A “job area” is a sub-unit (e.g., department, job group, line of progression) of the blue-collar or white-collar sectors of the contractor’s workforce. The conditions for such a “reasonable expectation” are that:

  • The jobs in the area have similar entry-level qualification requirements; and
  • The jobs above entry-level are filled primarily by promotion.

Where these conditions exist, COs may use the Job Area Acceptance Range (JAAR) analysis to measure job area distribution patterns. The JAAR assesses the representation of minorities and women in a particular job area in comparison with the relevant base workforce sector. A workforce sector is the total workforce of a particular job area. For example, if a contractor has 1,000 employees at an establishment and its production division is composed of four departments with a total workforce of 400 employees, then the production division is the job area and 400 employees is the workforce sector. In order for COs to conduct this analysis appropriately, they must determine the relevant workforce sectors or job areas to analyze.

a. Relevance of Other Information. To determine the relevant workforce sector and job areas for the JAAR, COs are guided by the findings of the desk audit. For example, the information a CO obtains from the earlier analysis of EEO-1 trends may show persistent minority or female representation above or below comparable availability; or a CO may identify a substantial disparity in the representation of a particular minority group. Information the CO derives from the review of the organization of the contractor’s workforce and personnel practices (e.g., internal mobility, pay structure) informs the CO’s analysis of workforce sector and job areas.

The CO must also conduct analyses on the employment activity and compensation data provided by race, ethnicity, and gender, as is discussed in Sections 1O and 1P.

b. Workforce Sector and Job Area. When conducting a JAAR, COs must determine the appropriate sector of the contractor’s workforce with which to compare minority group and female representation in the particular job(s) being examined (e.g., blue-collar, white-collar, clerical, the entire workforce, job group). To do so, COs must remember that there is a reasonable expectation that, absent discrimination, minorities and women will be more or less evenly distributed among the job areas within the sector. This expectation is highest when;

  • Entry-level jobs in the sector require similar qualifications; and
  • The contractor primarily fills jobs above entry-level in the sector by promotion.

The expectation may be lower if entry-level jobs in the sector are more differentiated in skill requirements. In this case, it may become more likely that minority or female availability will differ, or the contractor fills jobs above entry-level predominantly by hires.

c. Applying the JAAR to a Particular Contractor. An appropriate definition of the workforce sector depends on the particular contractor’s structure, and legitimate skill needs and personnel practices. In general, a JAAR that focuses on where minorities and women are located organizationally,60 and a JAAR that focuses on the level at which minorities and women are employed,61 tend to identify potential promotion problems. Such promotion problems may be related to placement. Examples of how to use the JAAR to identify problems in placement, concentration or underrepresentation of employees include the following.

  • Comparing Workforce Representation to Departmental Representation. When there are departments or organizational units with largely similar qualifications for entry-level positions (e.g., unskilled and, to a more limited extent, semi-skilled, in blue-collar; undifferentiated trainee jobs in white-collar), COs must compare the representation of women and minorities in each department with representation in the total workforce of all such departments.
  • Comparing Workforce Representation to Representation in Lines of Progression. When there are lines of progression or usual promotional sequences that cut across department lines and have similar entry-level requirements, COs may compare the representation of minorities and women in each line of progression with representation in the total workforce of all lines of progression.
  • Comparing Departmental Representation to Representation in Lines of Progression within the Department. When there are separate lines of progression and/or usual promotional sequences within a department or similar organizational unit, COs may compare representation in each line of progression with the representation in the department as a whole.
  • Comparing Department to Jobs within the Department. In the absence of lines of progression or usual promotional sequences, and where jobs within a department are usually filled by promotion from within or might reasonably be filled in such a manner based on the nature of the jobs and the training the contractor could reasonably be expected to offer, COs may compare representation in particular jobs within that department with representation in the department as a whole.
  • Comparing EEO-1 Job Category to Type of Job or Job Title. It can be useful to compare representation in an EEO-1 job category or job group to the distribution within specific titles in that category or group, or both. For example, in an Office and Clerical category, women may be concentrated in General Clerical positions, but underrepresented in Production and Material Control clerical jobs.
  • Comparing Lines of Progression to Jobs in Lines of Progression. The CO may also treat a line of progression or usual promotional sequence, particularly one with a large number of incumbents, as a comparative workforce sector. Minority or female, or both, representation in the line of progression can be compared with their representation in jobs at different levels in the line of progression.
  • Comparing Job Title to Job Title within Department(s). When a job title, particularly one with a large number of total incumbents, appears in several departments, COs can compare representation in the title as a whole with representation in the title in each department.

d. Applicability to Both White-Collar and Blue-Collar Jobs. COs can apply these analyses to white-collar and blue-collar situations. In all cases, COs must ensure that the sector of the contractor’s workforce that they use as a basis for comparison with a particular job area is, in fact, relevant. Particularly in the white-collar area, differences concerning factors such as the need for specialized education or skills may make establishing a basis for comparison difficult.

e. Determining Whether the Concentration or Underrepresentation is “Substantial.” Once COs select the job area and the relevant workforce sector, the next step is to perform the analysis and identify those job areas which have “substantially” more or fewer minorities and women than would reasonably be expected by their representation in the workforce sector selected. The COs will investigate these job areas in addition to any other indicators identified, statistical or otherwise, on-site.

60. Examples include which departments, units or lines of progression tend to identify potential placement problems.

61. Examples include concentrations in lowest level jobs within a line of progression department.