Program Description

In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated nearly 73 million workers in the services sectorCdc-pdfExternal. The largest numbers of employees are in education (~14 million), professional and technical (~12 million), and accommodations and food (~11 million). Jobs in the sector are highly diverse, and include finance and insurance, real estate, arts, entertainment, recreation, building services, and public administration, among others. Veterinary medicine and animal care are part of the Healthcare and Social Assistance sector program. Firefighters, law enforcement, and other public safety workers are part of the Public Safety sector program.

The work environments in services include offices, hotel rooms, outdoor and indoor entertainment facilities, restaurant kitchens, classrooms, automotive garages, public roads, and private households. Service workers frequently travel on roadways as part of their jobs. Many youth are first employed in service jobs, especially in the Food Service and in Arts, Entertainment and Recreation subsectors. Some occupations require academic degrees and many jobs are physically demanding. A variety of occupational hazards potentially affect the health and safety of these workers.

Major NAICS industries in the NIOSH Services sector

NAICS NAICS Industry Title Industries within NAICS Group Number of Workers 1
51External Information Libraries, Publishing, Sound and Movie Recording, Wired and Wireless Communications 2,903,000
52External Finance and Insurance Depository and Non-depository Credit, Insurance, Brokerages 7,288,000
53External Real Estate, Rental, Leasing Real Estate Brokerages, Facility Leasing and Rental, Real Estate Management, Consumer Products and Equipment Rental 3,194,000
54External Professional, Scientific and Technical2 Drafting and Design, Law Offices, Accounting, Direct Mail, Marketing and Public Relations, Survey and Mapping, Engineering, Laboratories, Consulting 11,764,000
55External Management of Companies and Enterprises Corporate, Subsidiary, and Regional Offices; Bank Holding Companies 185,000
56External Administrative and Waste Services Office, Business and Facility Support; Building Services; Travel Reservations; Investigation; Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal; Employment Services 6,887,000
61External Education Primary and Secondary Schools, Technical and other Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools, Educational Support 13,763,000
71External Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, Museums, Zoos, Botanical Gardens, Amusement Parks, Gambling Industries, Historic Sites, and Nature Sites 3,399,000
72External Accommodations and Food Services Hotels and Motels, RV Parks, Boarding Houses, Restaurants, Catering, Drinking Establishments 10,891,000
81External Other Services Automobile and Machine Servicing and Repair; Giving Organizations; Religious Organizations; Social Clubs; Business, Professional, Labor, Political and Trade Organizations; Personal Care; Laundries; Private Households 7,485,000
92External Public Administration3 Local, State, and Federal Governments excluding Members of the Military 7,083,000
  1. Source: BLS [2018]. Table 18. Employed persons by detailed industry, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 2017. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  2. Veterinary medicine and animal care are part of the Healthcare and Social Assistance Sector Program
  3. Fire service, law enforcement and other public safety workers are part of the Public Safety Sector Program.

The Services Program focuses on the following subsectors:

  1. Automotive Repair and Maintenance
  2. Services to Buildings and Dwellings and Lessors of Real Estate
  3. Education
  4. Accommodations
  5. Public Administration (aka Government) except Public Safety
  6. Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
  7. Food Services and Drinking Places
  8. Telecommunications
  9. Temporary Help Services
  10. Waste Management and Remediation Services
  11. Personal Care Services (Hair and Nail Salons)
Page last reviewed: January 3, 2019