Sector provides Dorchester County businesses with key services

This month we spotlight the professional and business services sector. One of dozens of employment classifications tracked by the Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), employers in this sector provide services designed to support the needs of business and industry.

The Professional and Business Services Sector is considered a “Super Sector” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government agency charged with tracking employment data. It has three sub sectors: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Management of Companies and Enterprises; and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services.

Jobs are classified using standard definitions and assigned a NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code to compare trends across regions and states. Popularly referred to as the “Unemployment Report,” the BLS monthly “Employment Report” is actually comprised of data from two surveys conducted and analyzed (and occasionally adjusted) monthly: the Household Survey that tracks employment and the Establishment Survey that tracks hiring.

Nationally, the Professional and Business Service sector added 187,000 jobs between March and June of 2013 according to the June report issued July 5. As would be expected with an increase in new jobs, the unemployment rate in this sector dropped from 8.9% to 8.2% in the same period.

According to the BLS, this sector comprises establishments that specialize in performing professional, scientific, and technical activities for others. “Often requiring a high degree of expertise and training, businesses in this sector specialize according to expertise and provide these services to clients in a variety of industries and households.” Activities include legal; accounting and bookkeeping; architecture, engineering and design; computer; consultants; and advertising.

In 2012, Professional and Business Services represented 83 of Dorchester’s 732 private sector establishments with 497 of the 8,693 private sector jobs based here. From established local businesses headquartered in Dorchester such as RPS ISG International and branches of regional companies like Miles & Stockbridge to independent businesses and consultants.

While many of Dorchester’s larger or well recognized employers are found in four of the BLS super-sectors of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; Manufacturing; Transportation and Warehousing; and Leisure and Hospitality, the county’s professional and business services sector continues to grow in size and strength to meet the growing demands of businesses.

To learn more about Dorchester’s business sectors and employment data, visit